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First printed February, 1915, 1,000 copies. 


Tne publish ers'jrisb to express their indebt- 
fedA^iotKef Editors of the Yale Alumni Weekly 
for permission to' reprint those essays in this 
volume which first appeared in the columns of 
their paper, as well as for the use of the illus- 


Clarence Deming was known to many but under- 
stood by few. This was not due to any reserve, either 
of manner or of expression, on his part. As a jour- 
nalist he was obliged constantly to come into contact 
with all sorts and conditions of men. Through his 
writings he was known to many who had never seen 
him. If, nevertheless, comparatively few really under- 
stood the nature and character of the man, the cause 
lay, not in any concealment on his part, but rather in 
an altogether exceptional frankness and honesty. His 
scorn of appearances and of conventions was so great 
that appearances often did him injustice. In an age 
which attaches such value to the label as to throw 
about it the protection of the law, he was willing to 
go without any label, rather than wear one that he 
might not merit. Few knew that words which sounded 
blunt voiced a disposition kindly and gentle, as well 
as an honesty of purpose so courageous, that it was 
indifferent to the impression produced on others. 
His courage was especially conspicuous when, as often 
happened, he was engaged in fighting some political or 
moral wrong. Then the recording journalist was con- 
verted into the reforming citizen, and he would keep 
up the fight regardless of the prejudice or indifference 
of those who should have helped him. 

Deming was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, October 
i, 1848, and entered Yale College in 1867 with the 
class of '71. On account of severe injury received in 


playing baseball, he was obliged to fall back into the 
class of 1872. The writer was accordingly in college 
with him for two years, but his real acquaintance with 
him only dates from 1884. Being one of a few citizens 
who had acquired a small interest in the Morning News 
Company, the writer soon found himself obliged, either 
to secure control of the paper for himself and his 
friends, or allow it to fall into the hands of those whose 
policy he could not endorse. With the responsibility 
of journalistic management thus suddenly thrust upon 
him, he looked about for someone to take editorial 
charge of the paper and bethought himself of Clarence 
Deming, at that time a free lance journalist, who had 
just completed for the New York Evening Post a 
series of studies published in book form under the 
title, u By-ways of Nature and Life." Deming ac- 
cepted the position in February, 1884, and entered at 
once with eagerness into the plan of editing an inde- 
pendent newspaper. 

In those days independence in politics, as in journal- 
ism, was considered by most people rank heresy. 
Practically every newspaper was expected to have 
strong political affiliations. Every voter was expected 
to wear the badge of some party. The Cleveland 
campaign broke the ice, but the Mugwumps of that 
day were looked upon with suspicion and even dislike 
by not a few of their friends. To class them with 
Judas Iscariot and Benedict Arnold was thought by 
many to smack of flattery. The Morning News was a 
small undertaking with little capital, with no history 
back of it, and without even the advantage of the 
Associated Press Service. In a dingy back room of our 
quarters on State Street, overlooking the railroad cut, 
and in an atmosphere fouled by smoke from the 


locomotives, Deming performed the exacting daily 
drudgery of an editor. He not only wrote the edi- 
torials, but also made arrangements for securing 
telegraphic news service, stock exchange reports, and 
local news. At the same time he tried to keep the 
expenses down to a minimum. In those days without 
wife, children, or immediate dependents, he might have 
lived on his private income, and only done such writing 
as would have been a pleasure and a recreation. He 
had no personal interest in New Haven, except that 
of a Yale graduate. But the task of working for clean 
politics and clean journalism appealed to him, and he 
threw himself into it with the zeal of a Crusader. The 
Cleveland campaign gave him abundant opportunity 
to prove his mettle, and he contributed not a little 
towards carrying the state for the Democratic national 
ticket. At the same time he showed his independence 
by first urging the Republicans to nominate Henry B. 
Harrison for governor, and subsequently working for 
his election. 

It was in this first year that Deming began what 
proved to be a long fight against the abuse of repor- 
torial gratuities. It had been customary for the state 
legislature at the end of each session to appropriate 
sums of money for the representatives of the various 
papers which reported its proceedings. Deming him- 
self, though editor-in-chief, undertook to report the 
session in 1884, in order to familiarize himself with 
state politics, and when he found that the legislature 
offered him a gratuity of $200 for doing this profes- 
sional work, he promptly and indignantly returned it. 
The paper also returned two sums of $50 each, which 
had been voted to its reporter by the selectmen and 
by the common council of New Haven. From that 


time until his death Deming never rested in his warfare 
against this abuse, which seemed to him a peculiarly 
contemptible form of petty graft, because designed 
insidiously to undermine the character and honor of 
his profession. It is obvious that, when those who are 
to report the proceedings of a legislative body solicit 
from its members a grant out of public funds, the 
channels of public information are defiled at their very 

This abuse has now been eliminated from the city 
government of New Haven, where it has been un- 
known for many years, and there is every reason to 
believe that the action of the Morning News in 1884 
went far towards bringing about this result. The 
history of the movement against legislative subsidies 
is less simple, but possesses points of interest which 
deserve to be recorded. For a good many years many 
of the better papers of Connecticut have refused to 
allow their reporters to be subsidized by the legis- 
lature, but many others, among them some whose self- 
respect might have been expected to prevent them from 
sharing in the money, have continued to accept it, 
and as long as the legislature has the power to make 
such appropriations as are within the constitution, it is 
very difficult for any individual or group of individuals 
to overcome the persistent efforts of the newspaper 
lobby. In 1911, however, a peculiar situation arose, 
which Deming was quick to see and to take advantage 
of. The House in that year refused to make the 
reportorial appropriation, but the Senate passed a 
resolution to pay the money as a part of its contingent 
expenses, under a rule which was numbered 27. 
Clarence Deming, associating with himself four friends, 
applied for an injunction based on the claim that the 


services for which the reporters were ostensibly paid 
were fictitious, and that the Senate had no right under 
the law to make such payments. The case was so 
strong that the injunction was granted, and the legal 
victory seemed won. But in September, near the end 
of an unusually long session, the reporters took advan- 
tage of a thin house to get the Senate to repeal Rule 
27, and then immediately to pass Resolution 133, which 
practically repeated the provisions of Rule 27, even 
specifying by name the same reporters and same sums. 
The reporters, who were waiting for the resolution to 
pass, promptly applied to the comptroller for their 
gratuities and, before the afternoon papers could 
report the proceedings, had carried off their booty. 
Deming and his associates thereupon brought proceed- 
ings against the comptroller and treasurer for con- 
tempt of court, engaging as their attorneys the late 
Henry C. White, and Leonard M. Daggett of New 
Haven. In the decision which was handed down 
January 23, 1912, the judge went over the history of 
the case thoroughly, and discussed at length the ques- 
tion, how far the injunction which prohibited payments 
under "Rule 27" could be applied to the identical pay- 
ments when ticketed "Resolution 133." He summed up 
the matter by saying, "The consideration of these 
facts would, I think, suggest to men of less intelligence 
and experience in matters connected with the state 
government than the defendants, that the reporters, 
having been prevented by the injunction from receiving 
their gratuities under authority of Rule 27, were now 
trying to get them in a different way, and that to pay 
them under Resolution 133 would defeat the object 
sought to be obtained by the plaintiffs. " Nevertheless 
the decision concluded by saying, "The burden of proof 


that they have offended is on the plaintiffs, and, if 
there be doubt, the defendants are entitled to the 
benefit of it." Judgment was, therefore, rendered in 
their favor, and the long and expensive fight seemed 
lost. The only gain was an injunction which had been 
rendered inoperative by changing the label. Yet in 
the very year in which Deming died the legislature 
refused to appropriate the gratuities, and if the future 
shows that this means their permanent abolition, the 
credit will be due to Clarence Deming, though he did 
not live to see the victory won. 

This story has been told with a detail that may seem 
to some disproportionate to its importance, because it 
is typical. The abuse itself is typical of the kind of 
abuse which grows up in our state. The campaign 
against it was typical of Deming. The long time that 
it required to make an impression upon the legislature 
was typical of other reform movements. Moreover, 
this is one of the episodes which I am sure Deming 
himself would have taken particular pleasure in writing 
up, had he lived to do so. In fact, we often spoke 
together of preparing jointly a history of our expe- 
rience on the Morning News. Financially the paper 
was never a success and, in spite of the support of men 
of the highest standing, it had to give up its independent 
existence. Nevertheless I believe that its influence was 
not only good but effective, and the history of the news- 
paper gratuities is but one of the indirect outgrowths 
of that modest and now almost forgotten enterprise. 

Deming's public services were not confined to fight- 
ing the reportorial gratuities. From the beginning he 
was much interested in civil service reform and was 
active as a member of the executive committee of our 


association. During the searching investigation of 
police conditions in New Haven and the campaign 
against policy shops and pool rooms, which was begun 
in 1894 by Dr. Smyth and a handful of associates, 
Deming was always ready to support the movement, 
both by his pen and by personal effort. He was keenly 
alive to railroad problems, and studied particularly the 
New Haven road, writing frequent dispatches regard- 
ing it for the Evening Post. In consequence of his 
familiarity with the subject, he was on two occasions 
asked to act as arbitrator in disputes between the rail- 
road and the trolley men. In time more and more of 
his writing came to be devoted to railroad subjects, 
and he was a frequent contributor to the Railway 
Gazette. The London Times paid him the well- 
deserved compliment of asking him to write for its 
special American Railway Number of June 28, 1912, 
an article on railroads in New England, printed on 
pages 42 to 45 of that issue. 

To the great body of Yale men Deming is probably 
best known through his contributions to the Yale 
Alumni Weekly. For years his analyses of the treas- 
urer's reports gave to graduates a singularly clear view 
of a document which it is not easy to read without an 
interpreter. But he was not satisfied to analyze and 
explain. He was ever on the alert to point out, with 
all consideration and loyalty to his Alma Mater, any- 
thing that looked like an abuse, or that suggested a 
lack of frankness or clarity. His reports on the 
treasury figures had mainly an ephemeral interest and 
are wisely omitted from this volume, but they should 
not be forgotten among the services which he rendered 
to Yale. 


Men show what they are in their play as truly as in 
their work, and no sketch of the personality of Clarence 
Deming is complete which fails to mention fishing. 
Though a noted baseball player and an all-round 
athlete in college, he gave little time to active exercise 
in his later years, and fishing became almost his sole 
recreation. But he was no ordinary fisherman. He 
devoted himself to it with a veritable passion, regard- 
less of personal discomfort and of personal appear- 
ances. Nor was he a mere sportsman, intent upon 
making a record-breaking catch and bragging about it 
afterwards. He carried the curiosity of a real 
naturalist into the practice of the "gentle art," and was 
keenly observant of the habits of the fish and of the 
influences of their environment, wherever he went. 
It was remarkable how many articles on fishing he 
contributed to Outing and other magazines. Indeed, 
in the bibliography which was published in his class 
book in 1913, no less than eighteen out of thirty-three 
titles relate to angling. His conversation as well as 
his printed articles brought to light many piscatorial 
oddities and puzzles, and it may be said that he loved 
the fish as William the Conqueror loved the red deer, 
"as though he had been their father." His family 
took satisfaction in the thought that his last resting 
place in the Litchfield hills overlooked one of his 
favorite fishing ponds. 

The descendant of an old New England family 
from a typical New England town, and an under- 
graduate of Yale in the period which immediately 
preceded the expansion and changes of recent years, he 
has rescued from oblivion and preserved for future 
generations choice sketches drawn from his own recol- 


lections, which will not soon be forgotten. The keen 
interest of the reporter in anything novel or excep- 
tional, the quick eye for relative values, the scientific 
interest in going below the surface to search for causes, 
which characterized his "By-ways of Nature and Life," 
came to be focused, as it were, in the last thirty years of 
his life on New England, and on Yale. Thus the 
volume before us has a unity of aim and subject which 
the earlier one lacks. In comparing the two it is also 
interesting to note the development of his style. From 
the beginning he was a vigorous writer, but his peculiar 
raciness of language, his fertility in coining new words 
or new combinations, grew with years, and gave to all 
of his writings an individuality so marked, that the 
signature U C. D." was never needed to indicate the 
author. This gift of expression effervesced sponta- 
neously in conversation. A long association in an 
informal club, which for over thirty years has met 
fortnightly during the winter months, has given the 
writer many opportunities to observe his conversational 
gifts. Never a dictatorial Dr. Johnson, never a self- 
assertive conversational monopolist, never an autocrat 
of the supper table, he almost always became, before 
the evening was over, the center of the table talk. 

Many a time since his death have we longed to hear 
again his pungent comments on the many startling 
events of the last two years. How keenly he would 
have discussed the kaleidoscopic changes in the New 
York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, the legis- 
lative measures before Congress, the international 
cataclysm in the midst of which we are still living. 
We can only surmise what he might have to say on 
these and other topics. But we can at least live over 


again in reading the present volume some of the dis- 
cussions of the past, and we owe a debt of thanks to 
the members of his family who have gathered together 
for permanent preservation these products of his 
inquisitive and active mind. 




Foreword ...... v 

I. College Buildings and their Vicissitudes . i 

1. The Old College Campus . . 3 

2. Yale's Old Brick Row . . 8 

3. The Old Chapel in the Sixties . 15 

4. The Hillhouse Place . . .21 

5. The Passing of Two Yale Hostel- 

ries ..... 24 

6. The Twilight of Alumni Hall . 33 

II. Campus Traditions, Customs and Charac- 
ters ..... 39 

1. The Burial of Euclid . . . 41 

2. Town and Gown Riots . . 51 

3. Old Troubles in Commons . . 60 

4. Yale's Fiercest Student Battle . 66 

5. The Old "Statement of Facts" . 73 

6. Two Extinct Class Honors . . 80 

7. Wooden Spoon Memories . . 85 

8. Forerunners of Tap Day . . 92 

9. George Joseph Hannibal, L. W. 

Silliman . . . .95 

III. Faculty Reminiscences . . .105 

1. The Old Yale Classroom . . 107 

2. An Old School Professor . . 116 

3. Annals of Old-Time Examinations 124 

4. Yale Astronomy, Old and New . 130 

xvi UUJM l\tLJM IS 


Yale Worthies ..... 


i. South Middle's Roll of Honor . 


2. The Times of Bagg . 


3. An Early Undergraduate Genius . 


4. A Theological Martyr 


5. Ik Marvel, Prose-lPoet 


6. The Westminster of Yale . 



Athletics of Yore .... 


i. A Reverie of the Game 


2. General Athletics in the Seventies 


3. Reminiscences of Old Yale Base- 



4. Yale Football of the Fifties 



From the Annals of the Treasury . 


i. Yale's Treasury 


2. Early Gifts to Yale . 


3. British Gifts to Yale . 


Index 245 


Clarence Deming . . . Frontispiece 


College Street in the Seventies ... 4 
The Old Brick Row and Fence ... 8 
The Old Brick Row (looking north) in the 
Nineties, showing South Middle and the 
Lyceum . . . . . .12 

Interior of the Old Chapel . . . .16 

The Old Campus (looking south) about 1870, 
showing the Lyceum, the Old Chapel and 
North College with the Treasury Building 
and Library beyond . . . .18 

Hillhouse Avenue in 1841 .... 22 

The Old Pavilion Hotel . . 24 

Chapel Street and the Art School in the Seventies 30 
Moseley's New Haven House . . .32 

Alumni Hall ...... 34 

A Group of '71 Men at the College Pump . 68 

George Joseph Hannibal, L. W. Silliman . 96 

Candy Sam and Wife ..... 100 

Professor Elias Loomis . . . .116 

Fireplace in Eli Whitney's Room in South 

Middle . . . . . .140 

The Old Library . ... 148 

Donald G. Mitchell and his Home at Edgewood 170 
Entrance to Hamilton Park . . . .196 

James Hillhouse, Yale 1773 . . . 226 

Sheldon Clark ...... 234 





The downy young Senior of Yale College today and 
the sub-Freshman five years younger confronting the 
first terrors of his preliminary examination see a great 
college plant in a condition of geographical and struc- 
tural transition. The Senior is soon to leave a Campus 
which, before he revisits it at his triennial reunion, 
may have a number of structural additions and sub- 
tractions; and the sub-Freshman ere, five years later, 
he clasps his longed-for sheepskin, may witness visually 
those changes going on and some of them completed. 
But the basic conception will remain of a stately 
academic quadrangle flanked by arcades on the north 
with remote possibilities of small quadrangles on the 
west. All these transitions which have shifted the 
Campus of fifty years ago into the quadrangle and 
Campus of today impress the old graduate in many 
ways. Where once was a merger of homely brick row 
with stately tree life is now a grand quadrangle, but 
without the tree life of the old type. There are, to be 
sure, certain faint suggestions of the earlier Yale of 
the elms. Here and there upon the new quadrangle 
stands an ancient tree, survivor of time and beetle, but 
decrepit and devitalized; a new generation of young 
elms, watched and warded by the experts of the Forest 
School, outlines a hope; and the Yale Oak, already 
big, beauteous and waxing with the years, will be a tree 
of memories and traditions and have an isolated dig- 


nity of its own. But uncertainly at the best does the 
inner quadrangle pledge any reproduction on slighter 
scale of the grand archways of elm which in the last 
mid-century flanked the College front, which trans- 
figured with their sylvan grace prosaic brick and 
mortar, which were elemental in Yale song and story 
and which the old graduate so sadly misses now. 
William Croswell, Yale '22, in later life, expressed 
the idea in a punning stanza of a longer poem: 

"Tres faciunt Collegium" each jurist now agrees, 
Which means, in the vernacular, a College made of trees. 
And bosomed high in tufted boughs yon venerable rows 
The maxim in its beauty and its truth alike disclose. 

Fifty years ago and Mr. Croswell's word-picture 
was a realism. A mighty line of elms of girth, of 
spread and leafy richness stood just inside the western 
curb of College Street. It was mated by another line 
some thirty feet away on the College grounds and that 
by yet another just in front of the Brick Row. The 
resultant was two vast arches, high, symmetrical, a 
great nave of bough and leaf which, as studied by the 
sylvan critics of the time, dimmed even the famed 
glory of Temple Street. Only the pale reflection of 
them appears in the photographs of the period which 
with the camera aimed at the Brick Row and not at the 
elms are for the most part winter or late autumn 
pictures when the elms were leafless. 

These big elms with their grateful cover in summer 
heats were a force in the Campus life unrealized by 
Yale's younger graduates. They shaded the College 
Street side of that immemorial and lamented roost, the 
"Fence" ; they left the Campus open to summer breeze 
while they intercepted blazing sunlight and made the 


Campus at once a studio and lounging place; and they 
transmuted for a large fraction of the day the indoor 
to an outdoor life. The Campus was mowed now and 
then by the scythe. If the hay crop was small it was 
enough to give the Campus a rural aroma and deepen 
the outdoor sense of airiness and space. Thus, the old 
Campus was a natural undergraduate hiving ground 
and without the class distinctions of the Fence. Inci- 
dentally also it exemplified the Spartan animus of the 
Faculty; for, as now recalled, never but for one brief 
period did college authority grant a single seat. The 
student recumbent on the grass or perched on the Fence 
was the limit of Faculty concession a policy to which, 
perchance, the old Fence owes its sacred traditions. 

The exceptional period referred to when the Faculty 
experimentally tried "benching" the Campus was at a 
date somewhere in the middle sixties when complaints 
from citizens against blocking the sidewalks and dis- 
orders at the college corner led to an edict imposing 
five marks for sitting on the Fence. College sentiment 
rose against the decree. Bigger crowds of students 
than ever gathered on the Fence dispersing as college 
authority with its. marking book came in sight and 
the Fence acquired the added enticement of forbidden 
fruit. Night after night the rails were pulled down 
and out, and for a whole winter the Fence cost the 
treasury a pretty penny for night watchmen. Next 
spring the Faculty set benches on the Campus but the 
new seats were boycotted. At last the Faculty yielded 
and its decree fell into innocuous desuetude. 

The archaic Campus of the eighteenth century ap- 
pears to have had a certain shut-in quality. The rules 
of the College set forth in the Latin that if any student 
leaped the board fence Vallum tabulatum exsultav- 


erit he should be fined not less than sixpence sex 
denarii. This suggests that there was then a policy of 
exclusion and inclusion. The records do not shed light 
on the date when the ancient board fence went down 
and the glorified rail fence that wore through so many 
generations of college integuments went up. But as a 
barrier it was symbolic, not actual, and was a kind of 
hospitable invitation to the public. The Campus, in 
fact, became well-nigh as open as a village green. 
Tramps, beggars, organ grinders, agents, peddlers- 
lineal antecedents of Hannibal and Candy Sam went 
in and out at will. On every side of the open Campus 
was easy ingress and outgo without the restraint of 
watchman or police. As a short cut to the corners of a 
large city square, the Campus thus became a kind of 
thoroughfare. Where now are gates and entrances 
were then no obstacles more serious than the low 
double-railed fence. This open-hearted view of the 
Campus had its vantages as well as defects. If the 
student conning the pons asinorum of Euclid found 
intruders a nuisance, the free rule of in-go and exit 
did not debar the wandering minstrel from the Campus 
or exclude the diverting oratorical periods of General 
Daniel Pratt. 

In these days of Campus policemen and electric 
lights, the undergraduate little wots what a lure to 
mischief the old Campus became o' nights. There were 
spaces for flight or hiding 'twixt all the dormitories; 
other spaces behind the old Cabinet buildings, the 
Laboratory, Trumbull Gallery and the North and 
South Coal yards each periodically going up in 
smoke and over all the Cimmerian darkness inten- 
sified by the elms. The fugitive from the pursuing 
tutor had choice of flight in a dozen directions besides 


the larger outlets of the city streets. Those who tell of 
the small or extinguished vandalisms of the modern 
Campus, the abatement of noise and riot, the hustlings 
which changed the old form of Senior elections into 
Tap Day and the decline of student prankeries in gen- 
eral, forget how much the betterment is due to the 
merely physical environment of the modern Campus 
life. The temptations of that old Campus made many 
undergraduate sinners out of original saints. 

But the old Campus had some compensating virtues. 
It was more of a living place for the undergraduate 
than the enclosure of today. College activities 
focussed upon it. Classes met, intermingled and 
swapped acquaintance. It stood for the academic cen- 
tralities, and that not merely because of the Fence, 
but as a sequel of the character of the Campus itself 
as a common meeting ground. It had the virtues of 
intensity as represented by the relatively "small" col- 
lege. Supplemented by the inner and intense life of 
the Brick Row, who will say with certitude that the old 
Campus as a character-builder, with all its faults, had 
not traits that stand well when matched with the up-to- 
date luxuries when the electric light satirizes the old 
kerosene and the bathtub has displaced the college 



Almost exactly one-third of a century of time and a 
full generation of men have gone by since the fall of 
Old Divinity College and the rise of Farnam and Dur- 
fee Halls heralded a physical change on the Yale Cam- 
pus in which South Middle now only remains, a lonely 
and isolated relic, to tell of the life that went on in the 
Old Brick Row. The transit has been one which affects 
not merely externals and those things that meet the eye, 
but touches also the academic routine at a hundred 
points. The Row and what we may almost call its 
personality, had their acute relations to scholarship, to 
discipline, to undergraduate purpose, to student morals, 
to the day's walk and the day's work; and if the more 
subtle influences could be traced, it would probably be 
found that they bore hardly less upon the Faculty than 
upon the undergraduate. All these memories of the 
Row deepen and throng just now when the restoration 
of South Middle, 1 eldest of the goodly company, draws 
near and celebrates rather than renews the dormitory 
life of ancestral Yale. 

Yale graduates are probably not many who have 
reflected on the topographical results of the shift from 
archaic Brick Row to new Quadrangle. The Quad- 

1 In 1905, South Middle, now known by its earlier name of Con- 
necticut Hall, was restored to the Colonial style in which it was 
originally built. 


rangle is an enclosure; The Row had the open quality 
and space freedoms of a village green. The Quad- 
rangle at least most of it turns its back to New 
Haven with a kind of monastic exclusiveness ; The Row 
smiled open-faced on the city with a sort of democratic 
greeting. "Who enters here," says The Quadrangle, 
"must pass the iron gate, as an emblem, at least, of 
exclusion, or find contracted entrance 'twixt the 
crowded structures of the new Yale." "Jump the 
fence," said The Row. "Come in where you please and 
go where you please." The Row had The Fence as an 
outlying roost cf mighty length and popularity front- 
ing the urban activities of Chapel Street; The Quad- 
rangle owns but a ghostly simulacrum that satirizes the 
glory of its ancestor. The Quadrangle has its electric 
flame o' nights and its policeman, both arch foes of 
academic mischief; The Row, steeped in darkness and 
rich in nooks, corners and exit and egress, gave kindly 
cover to the fugitive from college justice and the hot- 
footed tutor. Finally there were the elms, shading a 
genuine Campus, in arches that rivalled famed Temple 
Street and wakened the muse of whole generations of 
Yale poets. Those historic boles and sheltering arms 
the Brick Row owned in full title; the Quadrangle now 
encloses but two or three of the grand, old-fashioned 
tree-types along with a few descendants in embryo 
and with the Yale Oak, alone, to suggest a future Yale 
altar for tree-worship. 

In the order of physical merit and as a dormitory in 
the practical sense of the term, Divinity College 
undoubtedly ranked first in The Row not merely 
because it was youngest and newest, but because the 
average theologue was a milder tenant than the secular 
collegian, whose prime ambition was to leave some 


lasting mark upon wall, doorway or coal closet. Next, 
as to internal physique, came North Middle a fact 
charged up to honest original workmanship. North 
College came next, followed by South and, naturally 
when the infirmities of age are reckoned in, South 
Middle last. But the qualities for living and for the 
creature comforts of each member of the Old Brick 
Row were relative rather than absolute. All of them 
had their flaws, only varying in degree. Each had its 
sagging beams, its billowy floor, its cracked ceiling, its 
panels deep-furrowed by college pokers, its abiding 
impression of roughness and the ineradicable musty 
odor which nothing could subdue; and, as to other 
arrangements, sanitation shrieked. Young plutocrats 
now and then, by costly outlay in putty, paint, and wall 
paper, tried to give the Brick Row room a semblance 
of luxury, but in vain. There was a tradition forty 
years ago of a Sybarite Junior from Fifth Avenue who 
spent a whole year's tuition fee in three coats of hard, 
white paint on the walls of his North College room. 
The tale is rescued from death by the further fact that, 
returning one night, too deep in Moriarty's ale, his 
roommate found him trying to hang his hat up on a fly. 
The tale of another of Moriarty's victims whose entry 
mates found him with his foot caught in a crack of a 
South Middle floor and kept him standing all night, is 
more apocryphal. 

How the Yale classes distributed themselves in The 
Row during its earlier years the records do not reveal; 
but during the sixties the two upper classes which, in 
the dearth of college rooms, were the only classes 
assured of lodgment on the Campus hived in The 
Row in accord with a certain definite custom. South 
College was the Senior focus. Its nearness to The 


Fence and to Chapel Street and its centrality in Cam- 
pus life probably accounted for the favor that it found 
in the class that had first choice in college lodgings. 
Seniors left over scattered through North and North 
Middle; but the latter was by tradition and habit a 
"Junior" dormitory. South Middle, dilapidated, 
scabby and malodorous with the must of ages, took 
the spillings of both classes and especially such men 
as could only afford cheap rooms. After the Senior 
and Junior classmen had made their choices there were 
a few of the very worst rooms left over usually on 
the damp first floors which were taken up by Sopho- 
mores or impecunious Freshmen. Of the floors in The 
Row, the second always ranked first in precedence. It 
was low enough to avert the tedious climb up the steep 
and footworn stairways and high enough to elude some 
of the ground floor moisture and smells albeit there 
was always the drawback of rooming on the same floor 
with a tutor, who might be sensitive to noise and have 
disciplinary moods. "High hook" among the college 
rooms, if that fishy metaphor may be used, was in the 
language of the time "South College, south entry, sec- 
ond floor, front corner," representing as it did the most 
desirable connecting link of the Campus, The Fence 
and The Town. 

In the Senior and Junior classes the choices of rooms 
were made by lot at class meetings, presided over by 
a tutor. A poor man's lucky high choice could always 
be exchanged for a rich man's low drawing, and com- 
manded a bonus that sometimes reached $75 or even 
$100. This plan had its advantages and evils. On the 
one hand it often gave the poor student working his 
way through college a handsome lift ; on the other hand 
it offered to the rich an opportunity to flock together 


and u pack" an entry. To some small extent it fostered 
cliques and now and then was abused in the Junior 
class to work a particular group into society honors. 
Nevertheless, as a whole, the life of The Row was 
ultra-democratic. Men mixed well, rubbed off angles, 
and upperclassmen relaxed class lines and found each 
other out. 

Doubtless South Middle, by virtue of seniority and 
as the original Yale dormitory, could tell more tales 
of student pranks than any other structure of the 
extinct Row. But in the sixties, South College was the 
chief font of undergraduate trickery and the center of 
conspiracy when any plot against authority was to be 
brewed. Standing at the end of the Brick Row it pro- 
jected as a kind of prow into the currents of the town. 
The fugitive from the street rush found it a quick 
asylum from city authority, while conversely, the stu- 
dent chased by the tutor passed easily to the street; 
and just behind it were the obscuring shades of the 
Laboratory, of the Cabinet building and of the South 
Coal Yard to check pursuit. It was a breed of tutor 
either uncommonly vigilant or watchful that during a 
year's service in South College could minimize the bill 
for new glass or escape disastrous bombardment by 
cannon crackers as Fourth of July drew on. In South 
College it was, as the legend goes, that there was 
carried out the successful "stunt" of rolling a hot 
cannon ball against an unpopular tutor's door with 
acute sequels when he tried to pick it up; and, as now 
recalled, it was a South College tutor who described 
his academic stipend as "$500 a year, free room and 
coal thrown in." A tale certified here as true, is that 
of a South College Senior who escaping from a faculty 
raid on an orgy took high risks of his neck by climbing 

Showing South Middle and The Lyceum 


down from the fourth story on the half-decayed 
window shutters. 

A second member of the Old Brick Row that was a 
constant source of disorder and prankery was the 
Lyceum. Sixty feet up on the tower in tempting near- 
ness to the lightning rod was the college clock, seduc- 
tive target for snowballs and whose hands, mutilated 
or missing, often bore dumb testimony to the rash 
academic spoilsman who had "shinned" by night up 
the rod to attack the venerable timepiece. When the 
clock was removed years after, it was related that the 
college carpenter for the first time in his life took a 
vacation. In the Lyceum tower was the college bell, 
another fertile mark of trickery and innocent victim 
of many an undergraduate plot. The theft of the 
tongue during one college period became almost com- 
monplace. More ingenious was the venturous under- 
graduate who one cold winter night "gagged" the bell 
by turning it upside down, filled it with water and left 
it to freeze solid. Most ingenious of all was another 
student who by night tongue-tied the bell by two cords 
leading sidewise to rooms in North Middle and South 
Middle. Confederates at each end of the cords then 
dinged out a lively peal; and it is told that the colored 
janitor who climbed to the belfry with a lantern and 
cut one cord but overlooked the other, was so smitten 
with superstitious awe that he hardly dared venture 
back, when, after a few minutes' pause, the mystic 
tocsin rung out anew. But mischief and disorder, 
although more common than now, were, after all, mere 
frills on the student life of the Old Brick Row. The 
current moved in a narrow channel, but with even sur- 
face and by smooth shores. Scholastically, The Row, 
as a whole, spelled hard work in a curriculum where 


each man from raw Freshman to graduating Senior 
toed the same line. The youngster of today with his 
two hundred electives for his pick, may smile as he cons 
the schedule of half a century ago with not more than 
ten branches of study through the four years; but that 
is because he never faced Newton in Mathematics or 
Hadley in Greek. Socially, a student life that con- 
verged on a single Campus and four dormitories was 
necessarily intense. Men rubbed each other hard and 
the attrition spelled character. Topics of college inter- 
est were relatively few. Athletics, for an example, had 
not grown diversified and football had not dawned big 
above the Yale horizon. But the Brick Row had its 
share of diversions and, if it had fewer things to think 
about, it thought harder about the things it had. Even 
for the stately quadrangle which has supplanted it, 
The Row, with restored South Middle for its last 
emblem, has its enduring lessons. 



The Yale undergraduate of today, attending prayers 
and Sunday service in Battell Chapel or Woolsey Hall, 
little wots of the contrasts in formal religious obser- 
vance between the times of the Old Chapel in the 
sixties and the gentler, more aesthetic and it may be 
added deeper religious observance of the present col- 
lege generation. 

The change has been physical, functional, emotional 
and mental. Then was the severe old Puritan struc- 
ture, with its ungarnished auditorium; now ornate Bat- 
tell Chapel or the stately and ample simplicity of Wool- 
sey Hall. Then was a "college preacher" filling the 
pulpit Sunday after Sunday prolix and apt to be 
droning in utterance, trite and repetitious in phrasing; 
now the short sermon, pointed and impressive, drop- 
ping from the lips of a succession of the most eminent 
preachers of the land. Then was a choir small in 
numbers and a bit monotonous; now a choir of num- 
bers, high training and variety of musical theme. And 
finally, but not least in its bearing on the undergrad- 
uate attitude toward official religious ceremony, there 
were then two long services on Sundays besides morn- 
ing prayers; now but one service. In these days the 
proposition that compulsory "Chapel" be retained com- 
mands its big undergraduate majority; then, had the 
proposition been raised, it is doubtful whether outside 
of a few dubbed "religious cranks," it would have had 


its dozen votes in an undergraduate electorate of five 

The Old Chapel, first opened for services in 1824, 
stood near the center of the Brick Row. Its site may 
be roughly identified now by placing its rear twenty or 
thirty feet in front of the Woolsey statue and its pil- 
lared front some eighty feet to the eastward, nearly on 
a line with the front elevation of Connecticut Hall, 
then South Middle College. Built of brick and sand- 
stone to harmonize with the Brick Row, its outward 
proportions were symmetrical; its frontal porch and 
colonnade owned real architectural grace though the 
belated student, rushing to prayers, didn't often stop 
to admire and the round tapering spire rising to one 
hundred and twenty feet was a thing of veritable 

But whatever its external graces, they were lost in 
the asceticism of its vitals. For its auditorium was of 
the severest orthodox type, as though devised expressly 
to chasten both undergraduate flesh and spirit par- 
ticularly the former. High at the end rose the old- 
fashioned "meeting house" pulpit with its double 
ascending stairs. Eight boxes after the fashion of 
"bins" two at the rear, one on each side and two 
elevated at each side of the pulpit were conning 
towers of the Faculty for student misdeed; and in the 
main space were the narrow and hard seats holding 
four undergraduates each, where sat the monitors and 
their victims. Not without point was a mock college 
dictionary of the time which defined prayers as "ser- 
vices at one end of the Chapel," while, as for Sunday 
services, they were one long conflict between the col- 
lege pastor and the conning towers on the one hand and 
Morpheus on the other. 


This conflict reached some nice official technicalities. 
Thus, a student who dropped his head to the rail of 
the seat in front save during actual prayer was 
officially "asleep" and so marked. But if he closed 
his eyes sitting upright or eke lolling on a classmate, he 
was officially awake and exempt from penalty. This 
bonused upright slumber as a fine art and gave high 
undergraduate values to the inside corners of the 
alleged "pews." 

There were three aisles. At the center and front 
sat the Seniors; in front and at one side the Juniors; at 
the front and on the other side the Sophomores; while 
the Freshmen filled the space behind. In the writer's 
time (1868-1872), when the services were ended, the 
Freshmen rushed out, the Seniors following quietly, 
after bowing to the President, who followed the Fresh- 
men. But tradition had it that, in earlier days, the 
Seniors, after insisting in vain that the Freshmen 
should await Senior egress, repeatedly overtook the 
Freshmen and "rushed" them out hence disorder and 
violence, which had to be checked by a Faculty decree 
holding back the Seniors and giving the Freshmen first 
right of way. 

But during the writer's time there was another form 
of disorder that went unchecked and which, oddly 
enough, rested on the method of ringing the college 
bell. For morning prayers the bell was rung a few 
minutes, then after an interval tolled for two minutes, 
closing with a series of rapid ding dongs for perhaps 
ten seconds as final warning. These climacteric bell 
strokes led to a veritable rush and temporary bedlam 
just before the services opened. It seemed never to 
occur to the Faculty that by unifying the bell, the rush 
could be abated, if not abolished. 


At a period when Chapel by the great body of the 
students was reckoned an arch foe and a weapon of 
discipline rather than a spiritual agency, mischief got 
afoot easily. One of its high-water marks was the 
enticement of a dog into the center aisle especially 
when, as once happened, the animal wandered to one 
of the tutorial watch towers, lifted his front paws and 
gazed meditatively into a raw instructor's face. It 
was at a slightly earlier college epoch than that of the 
writer that a rooster, taken to Chapel under a Senior's 
overcoat, flew the whole length of the Chapel, emitting 
its loudest barnyard squawk. Not often did it happen 
that the dull monotony of college sermonizing was 
varied by the -"break" made by some new preacher. 
But in the writer's day it happened twice. A florid 
out-of-town parson had a written sermon describing in 
one passage the beauties of spring with its warm sun- 
shine, genial air, and other vernal tribute. The sermon 
happened on a late April Sunday when a blustering 
snowstorm was beating against the Chapel panes. 
When the "spring" apostrophe was reached, the whole 
body of students "caught on," gave a cold shiver and 
sigh, crouched and drew up coat collars over necks. 
It was a Brooklyn pastor of eminence who perhaps first 
in the history of the Old Chapel brought down the 
students in a genuine roar of laughter by a metaphor 
substantially in the words: "Young men, sometimes 
must the sinner be reached by subtlety. In the Arctic 
regions the Esquimaux bind coiled whalebone in frozen 
blubber of the whale, leave it in the path of the polar 
bear, who swallows the lure which, melted by the inter- 
nal warmth, releases the bone to rend his vitals. By 
such device must the sinner at times be brought to self- 
examination and repentance." 


In the way of pranking, the leading exploit was that 
of a member of one of the classes of the seventies 
who, by night, "shinned" up the lightning rod to the 
top of the steeple and affixed his class flag. Only a few 
days later the flag fell, its staff having rotted with 
age. It must have been a close call for the climber. 

But if the Old Chapel had its severer aspects as a 
medium of college system and discipline, it also had 
its strong influences of religious uplift. Now and then 
there came a preacher who electrified the students and 
under whose sermons no undergraduate eye closed. 
Such was Newman Hall of London, who, during a trip 
to this country, delivered in the old pulpit two sermons 
not soon forgotten by the mass of undergraduates, and, 
by some, never forgotten. Now and then, the great 
Horace Bushnell came down from Hartford, weak in 
frame but mighty as ever in preachment, and it was 
in one of his most famous and impressive sermons that 
he told the students of his soul wrestlings with reli- 
gious doubts when a Senior in the Old Brick Row. 
President Woolsey's last Baccalaureate on "God's 
Guidance in Youth," preached in the Old Chapel to the 
Class of 1871, and afterwards published, remains to 
this day as a master work among baccalaureates, with 
its vivid and pathetic word-picture of the last reunion 
of the few survivors of the class and its appeal for 
divine guidance. There were other occasions of uplift, 
too. Great men of the country and the world betimes 
looked down on the college striplings from the Faculty 
pews in the gallery, to fire scholastic ambition for the 
world life ahead; and actresses of beauty and fame 
Scott-Siddons and Adelaide Neilson in the same gal- 
lery centered the undergraduate eye on a vision more 
alluring than Greek or conic sections. Once a year, 


somewhat after the analogy of the later Prom, the 
girls New Haven girls filled the galleries at prayers. 
It was to hear the "Christmas Anthem" rendered 
by a reinforced choir, after much drill, on the last Sun- 
day before Christmas. The anthem was a somewhat 
long and stilted set of stanzas, telling of flights of 
angels descending from mansions in the skies and lend- 
ing itself readily to satire and parody so readily 
indeed that a humorous poetical parody by a bright 
young student of the early seventies printed a week 
ahead in the Yale Courant made the girls and boys 
laugh at Chapel when the anthem was given. And 
thereupon, after forty years of life, it died killed by 
a "skit." 


Now that Yale University, acting through her 
proxies, has acquired the Hillhouse Place, by the gift 
of Mrs. Russell Sage, its future place in the line of 
most important physical development of Yale has been 
clearly outlined. The new physical laboratory on the 
Hillhouse property is, in the immediate order of events, 
the first of a series of Yale structures that will extin- 
guish on the Prospect Street slope the once famous and 
attractive Hillhouse Woods. With that structural 
emplacement will go, barring the Observatory lot and 
the bosky square beyond, almost the last of the fea- 
tures that in the elder Yale days gave Prospect Hill its 
acute rural setting and tone. Already Prospect Street 
is residential in the most exalted social sense, with 
stately homes reaching out ambitiously to Mill Rock, 
with frontal land values soared and soaring to mighty 
prices per running foot. What a contrast with its past 
when so late as the middle point of the last century, 
the primitive Hillhouse forest was in its sylvan hey- 
day; when other woods flanked thickly the westward 

The undergraduate of the sixties, when, following 
a drowsy session at Chapel afternoon service, he took 
his walk up College Street and northward, found be- 
yond the one and original Scientific School building 
almost nothing in the way of habitation. On Prospect 


Street where the railroad bridge now stands and at the 
corner, was an old brick factory burned down some- 
time in the later sixties. But there was no railroad 
bridge. Instead of it was a steep downward pitch to 
the railroad and corresponding upward pitch on the 
other side, forming a "grade crossing" equally perilous 
and unsightly. Passing on and up Prospect Street and 
the Hill, one stepped into open country. All land 
beyond Sachem Street sold by the acre as on a country 
farm! Halfway up the Hill, he passed on the left 
the woods which tradition assigned as the spot for the 
Burial of Euclid. Beyond, save for two stately dwell- 
ings on the crest of the Hill, were everywhere north, 
east and west only rural environs and overlooks. 
But if the peripatetic undergraduate had any eye for 
sylvan beauty it must have lingered long on the thick 
and grand trees of the Hillhouse forest, where oak, 
walnut and maple reached their acme of girth, spread 
and majestic stature. .The thinned and battered trees 
of the tract today give small realism of what the Hill- 
house Woods were then. A storm in 1893 felled a 
hundred or more of the stately giants, and ten years 
later another hundred fine hickories had fallen under 
the ravages of the hickory beetle, which no devices of 
forestry science could stay. It seems probable at 
least there are no records to prove otherwise that 
"Sachem's Wood," so called, with the remnant left, 
was primeval forest; and there is logical inference that 
in earlier times, perhaps not antedating much the nine- 
teenth century, the unbroken forest reached up to the 
base of Mill Rock. 

"Highwood" was the early nineteenth century title 
that the estate bore, changed to Sachem's Wood in 
1838, a title by repute derived from famed Hillhouse, 



Yale 1773, its first owner, and based on the likeness of 
his face to that of the aboriginal race type. 

The later records show that the inheritors from 
James A. Hillhouse, widow and daughters, sold off 
certain northward parts of the old estate; and the sur- 
viving daughter by purchase and agreement with the 
late Oliver F. Winchester was a party to Mr. Win- 
chester's great gift of land for the Yale Obse/vatory, 
a portion of which had been donated by the Hillhouse 

Its recent history is more familiar. The last heir, 
James Hillhouse, '75, came into possession some five 
years ago. A tentative plan of breaking up the fine 
property into some hundred building lots was antici- 
pated opportunely by its purchase for $510,000 by 
Yale's representatives. Under the terms of the agree- 
ment, Mr. Hillhouse is left in possession of the tract 
of about three acres on which his home stands, with an 
option for Yale should the reservation finally come 
into the market; and a Sachem Street frontage of three 
hundred feet is preserved for a public park, holding 
the vista that reaches down Hillhouse Avenue. 

Other provisions of the contract look to the use of 
the estate of thirty acres for the Forest School, a 
Botanical Garden, and School of Irrigation and for 
fifty years exclude dormitories, baseball, golf and foot- 
ball while conceding tennis and other limited games. 
But these are mere details of the larger fact that has 
conservated for the city a public park, contributed to 
the City Beautiful and endowed Yale for long years to 
come with ample space for educational elbow room. 



A local newspaper tells the tale of the demolition of 
the structure on Collis and East Streets, once known 
as the "Colonnade," almost, if not quite, the last of 
the ancient structures at the head of the harbor that 
had a local link with the Pavilion Hotel. The Colon- 
nade's relation to the inn was more liquid than con- 
crete. It was, in fact, but a bar room of local conven- 
ience for the inn and said to be famous for its mint 
juleps and by that token magnetic to the parental 
Southerners who, with sons at Yale, came northward 
o' summers to the Pavilion as New Haven's most acces- 
sible shore resort. As such, the Pavilion, by fair infer- 
ence, must have been a Yale resort also in days when 
Dixie Land u befo' de Wah" sent northward to Yale 
her big delegation of undergraduates. 

Some Yale greybeards of the fifties and a little 
earlier must remember the Pavilion as it was then, a 
stately, though not large, structure, big windowed, with 
frontal pillars after the Southern plantation type 
and thick walls plastered with rough yellow stucco. 
Rows of big weeping willows flanked it and other trees 
nearby gave it almost a sylvan environment. It stood, 
perhaps, eighty feet back from the beach, up which the 
tide, clearer then than in later times, rose twice a day 
with its line for the bathers. And reaching out har- 



borward on the beach a long row of bathhouses and a 
big boating wharf filled out the conception of a genuine 
shore resort with realisms of salt water recreation. 
For, indeed, almost all the strands of the harbor were 
different then from now. The college student of the 
fifties bathed in puris naturalibus upon a clean, sandy 
shore, where now are the murky shops and engine 
houses of the New Haven Railroad Company. 

It was then, or a little earlier, that the Yale under- 
graduate had a wider horizon on the harbor and more 
alluring field of marine activity. Great open spaces 
filled the arc of vision now subtended by the large 
Sargent shops. Tomlinson's bridge was there with its 
drawbridge, picturesque in its tumbledownness. Not 
many Yale men, by the way, who cross that bridge now, 
recall the fact that its iron rounded trusses years ago 
were part of a "new" truss bridge of the New Haven 
Railroad Company over the Housatonic River and are 
now a monument to Yale scientific lore. It came about 
thus : The railroad company some forty years ago had 
just built the new iron bridge over the Housatonic to 
replace an antique wooden structure. It was reckoned 
not only mighty in strength but, in those days when 
iron bridges were rare, and structural steel undreamt, 
a veritable poem in beauty of beam and chord. Hardly 
had its praises begun to die away when a young Senior 
student of the Sheffield Scientific School, lured by its 
fame, took it as the subject of his graduating thesis. 
He demonstrated in startling fashion its structural 
weakness and peril to passing trains. His figures went 
to the railway experts, who confirmed them. The new 
and beauteous bridge which had cost the corporation 
many tens of thousands of dollars came down in a rush, 
but not before it had also cost President G. H. Wat- 


rous, Yale '53, lots of sleepless nights. A span of 
the bridge of brief life, wrecked by Yale science, was 
taken to be a part of the present Tomlinson. All which 
is not tradition or legend, but a tale certified for fact 
and within the writer's easy memory. 

At the east end of Tomlinson's bridge, east side of 
its approach, was the Yale boathouse, a small wooden 
building with pigmy float, often swept from its moor- 
ings by the late winter ice. But if the Yale boating 
plant was more contracted than nowadays, the boating 
itself was more recreative. Boating parties of students 
more often pulled through the upper Quinnipiac 
reaches or pushed up the mazy Mill River to the 
Whitney dam; the waters were relatively clearer and 
odorless before the days when New Haven sewers had 
waxed big under the spur of Mayor "Harry" Lewis; 
there were, to be sure, oyster stakes in river and har- 
bor, for the fame of the Fair Haven "Dragon" 
bivalve had not yet faded on the mollusk horizon. But 
the stakes were not so obstructive and unsightly as in 
later times, and Yale aquatics of the pure, sport-loving 
order had in the harbor and its tributaries water areas 
broad and winsome. 

But the Pavilion had a much earlier tale. It was 
built about 1800 by Kneeland Townsend uncle of the 
giver of the Yale Townsend Composition prizes and 
"Colonel" David Tomlinson, builder of Tomlinson's 
bridge. These two owned the broad sand tracks in 
that quarter of New Haven then called the "New 
Township" and conceived an improvement scheme too 
vast for its time. They leveled the big sand dunes; 
planted trees and laid out the frontal Water Street; 
and erected a group of villas with the Pavilion Hotel 
near the center. The hotel itself, which, with lines 


of double-storied dormitories adjacent, had about 
forty rooms, ere long became the shore resort of the 
north coast of the Sound. Its earliest landlord was 
one Porter, afterwards of the City Hotel, Hartford; 
next came G. A. Ives, in later years host of the New 
Haven House. Its owner, Judah Frisbie, next leased 
it to an Englishman whose Irish and Roman Catholic 
wife set up within it a chapel to her faith. And finally, 
as a lowly tenement, it was bought by the Sargents 
from the Frisbie heirs. The "Townsend and Tomlin- 
son Folly," as the general venture was called in the 
early century, was years ahead of its time and, in a 
financial sense, failed dismally; but not until the 
"Pavilion" had become a hostelry famous throughout 
East and South; had entertained many big statesmen 
of the nation, including Calhoun, Webster and Clay; 
and had certified its beauty of site on a point of land 
later destroyed by the great filling to the Eastward 
whence the eye swept the vistas to the far horizon up 
Mill River and the Quinnipiac. 

The old Yale grad who now seeks the ancient open 
spaces of the Pavilion hostelry and its region, then 
respectably residential, will marvel at the change. 
The old New Haven homes have been supplanted by 
factory and tenement. The tree life of the streets is 
gone or is tokened by a few sickly survivors. Italians 
have replaced the natives. The original "Pavilion," 
after shifting downward to a squalid lodging house 
itself, survived until a few years ago when swept away 
by the factory of the Yale family of the Sargents. But 
the greatest change, and one far from unpleasant, has 
come to pass on the shore where the city has pushed 
"made" land far out seaward, built up a recreative 
park of several acres, and the baseball player now 


sports over the bottoms where the guests of the Pavil- 
ion, the college boys and the daughters of the South, 
used to dive through the brine while the band on the 
float attuned its old-fashioned melodies. 

There came a later time when in the sixties the old 
Pavilion beach twice a year became a Yale focal point 
of sporting interest. There, in spring and autumn, was 
the starting point of the Class boating races and later 
still of the two big boating clubs, the "Glyuna" and 
"Varuna," which in an aquatic sense were the rivals of 
the two literary societies, Brothers in Unity and Lino- 
nia, on the Campus each club battling fiercely for the 
greater membership and campaigning briskly among 
the Freshmen. The official start was a few rods 
directly in front of the Pavilion and the course a mile 
or so southward on the harbor and return. A mighty 
cluster of townspeople and Academics, of dandy under- 
graduates and New Haven's best young womanhood 
in those days of the college vulgate dubbed "the snob," 
used to gather on the shore on those two gala days of 
the year, and the rival shouts of "Glyuna" and "Var- 
una" that greeted the outgoing and incoming race- 
boats made the welkin echo like unto the vocal thun- 
ders of the modern football gridiron. 

The Pavilion is now but a remote memory and, 
except for the written record, will ere long be a void. 
Most of the Yale men who could testify to its sobrie- 
ties and revelries have passed with it. Yet, before the 
last vestige of it goes, too, may it not along with the 
larger annals of the just extinct New Haven House 
claim the reminiscent word? 



The old New Haven House, over which the swan 
song of the (usually) good cheer of more than half a 
century is now sung, has a symbolism in three direc- 
tions. It is symbolic of Yale as being bought out in 
part with Taft moneys and owning a more dignified 
successor that will bear the Taft name; as a conserva- 
tive old hostelry it has squared with the persistent Yale 
tradition and policy; and lastly, in that same conserva- 
tive temper, it has symbolized the city that has given 
it its title. The New Haven House, in fact, as a going 
concern was New Haven expressed in terms of brick, 
mortar and stucco externally; and, internally, by a 
regimen that excluded the elevator until a date com- 
paratively recent in its structural life. It never was a 
real hotel in even the later nineteenth century sense, 
much less in the meaning of the first lustrum of the 
twentieth. It was simply a huge tavern transplanted 
from ancestral days to younger generations of guests. 
But, if it lacked the up-to-date equipment and "go," 
it at least retained the old domesticity and informal 
spirit. It appealed to the old fashions and habitudes, 
and not in vain. Situation, size and proximity to Yale 
did the rest and told along with the sagacity of Land- 
lord Moseley the tale of prosperity. 

But that prosperity had with it a side story in the 
nature of a financial melodrama, with the late Augustus 
R. Street, one of Yale's foremost benefactors, as its 
victim. Mr. Street was a gentleman of high ancestry, 
of culture, of hereditary wealth and a graduate of the 
Yale Class of 1812, who built the New Haven House, 
which was opened in 1851, though the official permit 


for its erection bears a date of seven years earlier. 
He was the veritable father of the Art School, which 
in the early sixties he offered to the Yale corporation, 
though, as his letter making the gift indicates, without 
naming the sum. That was in the civil war days 
(1864), with structural prices high and still soaring. 
The Art School building, ambitiously conceived, the 
first of its kind, it is said, to be connected with an 
American university or college, far outran the esti- 
mates and before it was done, Mr. Street found him- 
self somewhat financially embarrassed in carrying out 
his plans. He died in 1866, before the Art School was 
finished, and left to Yale the New Haven House, not 
long after sold by the Corporation to Mr. Moseley, at 
a sum variously stated at from $60,000 to $80,000. 
The total gifts of Mr. and Mrs. Street to Yale, includ- 
ing Art, Academic and Theological professorships, 
amounted to $411,337, of which $317,882 went to the 
Art School. By the measure of money gifts, Mr. 
Street, up to the time of his death, was far in front of 
Yale's benefactors. There is a sense, therefore, in 
which not only the Art School but the new hotel will be 
his memorial. 

Though renovated somewhat in its maturer age, and 
boasting its standing wash basins and private tele- 
phones, the mediaeval and antique New Haven House, 
was, as stated, a kind of sublimated tavern with a 
boarding-house aroma thrown in yet, withal, not lack- 
ing in traits of the neat and well-ordered home on which 
the occasional rush of new guests came as a rude break. 
Its menu was like unto the house traditional and repe- 
titious, yet of the "square meal" order, welcome to 
transients or even to the guests of a week or fortnight, 
but a bit monotonous to the long time boarder. It used 


to be said with a germ of truth that from the first of 
January to the next new year, the bill of fare varied 
but twice shad in the spring, strawberries in summer. 
The cooking was fair to good, but, by some occult influ- 
ence, unvarying and uninfluenced by a change of chef. 
Here, as a curio of the time, yet sure to be familiar to 
former Yale guests, is the last Sunday bill of fare for 
dinner the last dinner, indeed, for the breakfast of 
next day, Monday, October 17, 1910, closed the old 
hostelry's life: 


Blue Points Mock Turtle 

Broiled Whitefish Maitre d'Hotel 

Lettuce Sliced Tomatoes 

Filet de Mignons Saute Jardiniere 

Lamb Chops a la Legumes 

Braised Saddle of Veal with Peas 
Pineapple Sherbet 
Roast Ribs of Beef au Jus 

Roast Philadelphia Chicken Cranberry Sauce 

Steamed Potatoes Boiled Rice Mashed Potatoes 

Corn on Cob Boiled Onions Spinach 

Salad Lorette 

Cottage Pudding Sauce Sabayon 
Apple Pie Macaroons Lemon Custard Pie 

Lady Fingers Wine Jelly 

Coffee Ice Cream Meringue a la Cream 

Assorted Fruit 

Bent's Water Crackers Cheese and Crackers 

English Breakfast and Oolong Tea Demi-Tasse 


Sunday, October 16, 1910. 


Expunge a few very few of the entrees; cut out 
the Gallic and the reference to automobile parties and 
apollinaris; and simplify type and paper, and the menu 
above may almost be antedated by decades without 

Even while he smiles, the Yale graduate, old or 
young, sees the familiar corner darkened by night and 
the New Haven House about to die, not without a 
touch of sadness. With it perishes, not, strictly speak- 
ing, a Yale institution, but one so closely inwoven with 
academic memories that it has been a kind of big dor- 
mitory off the Campus a spot where hosts of Yale 
men through the winged years have gathered; where 
Campus memories have been exchanged and deepened; 
where college functions and interests could hardly 
have centered more had the house been formally Yalen- 
sian; and whose going now attests not only a New 
Haven but a Yale in transition a transition upwards 
yet not without its subnote of pathos as The Old goes 
and The New comes in. 


The sub-Freshman who, half a century ago, passed 
behind the Old Brick Row and with cold feet and 
vibrant nerves went toward Alumni Hall for his 
entrance examination, saw a structure not outwardly 
different from what it is now but a structure far 
ahead of its present status in the admiration and 
approval of that college generation. It was then the 
newest building on the Old Campus; it was, except the 
Library, the only college structure built of stone; and 
architectural authority as well as laical taste favored 
its castellated design and even made allowances for the 
wooden capwork that certified to exhaustion of funds 
rather than defective artistic judgment. It was argued 
in the way of historical fitness that the mediaeval castle 
had not seldom sheltered learning as well as the robber 
baron. And as the same mediaeval stronghold had its 
identity with dungeon, rack and thumbscrew, the under- 
graduate, less in love with the Hall, could readily span 
the void of fancy and fit the academic castle to the 
mental tortures of examination especially the hated 
and dreaded "biennials," covering two full years of 
the curriculum of the time and on which so many an 
undergraduate bark went to wreck. 

Alumni Hall is not only the last material relic on 
the Old Campus of the big open societies, but also of 
the revered President Woolsey, who drew the original 


plans. It was about the middle of the last century that 
some building of the kind became imperative for col- 
lege needs. A large hall was required for the biennial 
examinations, when a whole class met together, and the 
torture room must be ample enough for separative 
spaces between the victims; a large hall was needed 
also for alumni meetings; and the two big societies, 
Linonia and Brothers in Unity, then not far from their 
heyday, craved improved meeting rooms, while the 
lesser society, Calliope, wanted a room, too. All three 
societies contributed funds for the structure, but as the 
Calliope died before it was built, her contribution was 
returned to the donors. The Hall, begun in 1852 and 
finished a year later, cost in round numbers $27,000, of 
which Linonia gave $5,800, Brothers in Unity $5,500, 
and the College gave or got the remaining $15,700, 
which, if the wooden finishings on the stonework are 
due evidence, must have been hard cash at the end. In 
our times the building would probably cost two or three 
times what was paid for it fifty-six years ago. As a 
unique architectural distinction, the large lower hall 
was in those days said to be the greatest in the country 
without internal pillars. 

Had the open societies lived, Alumni Hall would 
have quite fulfilled its useful prognosis ; and though they 
became moribund a dozen years later and have now 
dropped far below the Yale horizon of the past, the 
Hall, though it is to die comparatively young, is old 
enough to own its memories. 

Foremost in the annals of the Hall and dominant in 
its memories are the college examinations, reaching 
down to this day with their unwritten tales of tragedy, 
comedy, joy and woe, of trickery on the one hand that 
sought to dodge or mitigate the ordeal and, on the 


other, the staunch and honest scholarship that faced it. 
Elective studies now break up and scatter the examina- 
tions and subdivide the examined into groups of which 
the big hall is needed only for the larger few. But 
fifty years ago, and for three decades after that, each 
class, for the awful biennials or not much less awesome 
annuals, was hived in Alumni Hall under conditions of 
scrutiny which, if reports of the graduate greybeards 
are true, rivalled the watch and ward of the cardinals 
at a papal election. It used to be a tradition, probably 
untrue, that the octagonal tables, originally square, 
were sawed off as to their corners and octagonized so 
that the corners might not cover the hidden "crib." 
However that may be, it is certain that the examination 
agonies and glooms of those college times centered in 
the Hall where the portraits of the college benefactors 
looking down from the walls seemed redolent of the 
Spanish Inquisition and Torquemada. With its dull- 
hued panellings and massive effects, the Hall has indeed 
offered little aesthetic and visual relief to the chief of 
its solemn functions. 

But with a brief trip upstairs, college memory shifts 
from a penseroso to cheery allegro. There was fun 
and lots of it in the society halls, the excitement of 
acute campaign rivalry, and both tempered by good 
debating that trained many a Yale man to public fame. 
Afterwards, even if regular debating had perished and 
the societies, as such, had lapsed into desuetude, there 
were the society prize debates; the humors of the 
"Statement of Facts"; and, for many years, on the 
Tuesday night before Thanksgiving and held year by 
year rotatively in each of the society halls was the 
"Thanksgiving Jubilee," an institution which, perhaps, 


more than any other at Yale, caught the Campus spirit 
of wit and harmless prankery. 

The Jubilee, as stated, came just before the college 
break-up of three days for the Thanksgiving vacation, 
when the Freshman was keyed up by his first visit home 
and, more conservatively, the other classes shared his 
joys of hope. In these sublimated mental conditions, 
the Freshmen were made to pay the Jubilee's cost. For 
two or three weeks before the show, the upperclass- 
men's hat went round among the college neophytes 
and they were furnished with tickets on the face 
entitling them to front seats. The joke came when the 
Freshmen, after a long wait at the front entrance of 
the Hall, were admitted only to be greeted by the jeers 
of the upperclassmen and Sophomores, who, going up 
quietly the back way without tickets had crowded 
the Hall, secured every seat and left the Freshmen, as 
ultimate consumer, only scant standing room in the 
rear. This was the first "opening load," so called. 
The second was the "measurements" for President and 
Vice President of the Jubilee. The Freshmen were 
ordered summarily to pass up to the stage their longest 
and shortest man. After applying to the longest a 
mighty measuring stick, the long man's meter was offi- 
cially announced as "Two hundred and forty degrees 
Fahrenheit" or similar skit, while the short man was 
reported as "Kneehimiah." Next, the two Freshman 
officials were hustled back over the heads of the audi- 
ence to the rearward Freshman zone. 

Followed next the Jubilee "sermon," usually deliv- 
ered by a bright Senior who had spent on it consider- 
able midnight oil. The "sermon" in the later sixties 
and some other features of the show had dropped in 
delicacy to a point which conditioned a Faculty censor 


behind the scenes; and if, as not seldom came to pass, 
the preacher in some joke too broad was called from 
the stage or a too redolent farce was checked midway, 
the audience knew what it meant. Female parts were 
early interdicted by the Faculty; and an announcement 
on the program that the Faculty having shut off female 
characters, the committee had "been forced to fee 
males instead" expressed on the stage by males in 
hybrid garb pretty nearly wrecked the Jubilee. For 
the rest, the Jubilee was a jolly vaudeville in an aca- 
demic setting three hours or more of a much-mixed 
program of negro minstrelsy, original or parodied 
farce, song, dance, u stunt" and "skit" in which college 
individual talent had its full play and now and then a 
hit was made which for a time bade fair to be a Campus 

The after story and later annals of Alumni Hall are 
recent enough in time to be recalled by most of the 
younger Yale generations. The old society halls, sub- 
divided into classrooms, have reflected the more som- 
ber realisms of the big hall below; the big hall itself, 
after serving for many years for the phantom Com- 
mencement dinner, has contracted its uses to examina- 
tions, to the alumni gathering on Commencement 
Week's Tuesday and to an occasional university mass 
meeting; and, as an unsightly and inharmonious fea- 
ture of the architectural Campus, filling precious land 
space, Alumni Hall now enters its twilight, soon to give 
way to the new dormitory which the Old Campus 
craves for reasons utilitarian, social and financial. 
The Hall will not go down among many tears, for its 
memories, in the main, have been, like its outer form, 
sinister. But it has had a kind of sub-halo as a 
memento of the superb drill in debate of the great open 


societies of the past and of the wholesome college 
mirth which from their two halls has echoed down the 
Yale years and which her old grads still greet with a 
reminiscent smile. 




The nomenclature through which Prospect Street 
has passed certifies its old rural quality with such titles 
remembered as "Second Quarter Road," "Smith Ave- 
nue," "Prospect Lane," "Tutor's Lane" and probably 
others obscured by time. And it was, doubtless, this 
bucolic and woodsy quality, lending itself to weird, 
nocturnal lights and shades joined with reasonable 
nearness to the Campus which made the region for 
a long series of years the scenario of the College farce- 
tragedy dubbed the Burial of Euclid. 

Just where on Tutor's Lane the great geometrician, 
as reincarnated on the printed page and signalized 
more specifically by such diagrams of his as the Pons 
Asinorum and the more refractory "Devil's Wheel- 
barrow," had his annual interment is not definitely 
fixed; nor with unfenced woods fringing the Lane is it 
likely that the undergraduates, some of them none the 
better for liquid tonics, were fastidious and exacting 
in selecting a burial lot. But the most authentic legends 
fix the spot of cremation and burial at about the site 
of the present Infirmary. It matters not much. Yet 
in passing, one may note the impressive mutation of 
time which finds Prospect Street, once the retired 
scene of an undergraduate orgy, become now the direc- 
tion of Yale's most solid physical growth. Metaphori- 
cally, the bones of Euclid have become the seeds of 
University development. 


The Burial, that so long held its place in the Yale 
undergraduate calendar, had its psychological birth in 
the old-fashioned student hatred of required mathe- 
matics. The mathematics in themselves were what the 
student of today would term a "snap" course and 
hardly beyond the curriculum of the up-to-date prep 
school, while a Yale Freshman now of very ordinary 
gifts would deem Euclid almost alphabetical. But that 
mathematics, and especially Sophomore mathematics, 
were the student bugbear through most of the last cen- 
tury and even into the later seventies all the contem- 
poraneous readings prove. There was a veritable 
u War of the Conic Sections" in the Class of 1827, 
stirred by a classroom disagreement with a tutor in 
which half the class refused to recite, were suspended 
by the Faculty and were at last "brought to book" 
only by parental authority. In the list of rebels ap- 
pears so eminent a name as that of Horace Bushnell. 
But that mathematical mutiny dims before the rebel- 
lion in the Class of 1832, originating likewise in a 
classroom dispute with the instructor over the form of 
recitation. In the sequel forty-four out of a class of 
ninety-five were dismissed from the College, of whom 
a large proportion never were enrolled in the graduate 
list. The mathematical ghost, prior to the elective 
period at Yale beginning in 1884, when the specter 
was exorcised, stalks constantly in song and legend 
through the undergraduate life of that old time. It 
was on the mathematical rock in the biennial, and, 
later, annual exams that many an undergraduate bark 
shivered; it was the mathematical paper that was ever 
the objective of conspiracy, fraud and bribery to 
secure; and the burial of the text-book was but an 


expression of the conventional undergraduate attitude 
toward mathematics in general with poor Euclid as its 
personal emblem. 

Many of the details of the annual celebration are 
lost from the records, but most of the generalities sur- 
vive or can be rescued from the printed programs. 
In its earliest phases, dating far back in the nineteenth 
century, the Burial appears to have taken place in the 
winter or late autumn, and to have had a prefix. In the 
prefix, the Sophomore divisions met together to cele- 
brate Euclid's academic death and gloat over his corse. 
He was perforated with a red hot poker, each man in 
turn thrusting the iron through his covers symboliz- 
ing the fact that each had "gone through" Euclid. 
Then he was held upward and the class passed below, 
indicating, with doubtful verity, that he was "under- 
stood." Next each man passed the volume underfoot 
to prove that Euclid had been u gone over." These 
ceremonials were but preliminary to the Burial, which 
came later. Sometimes it took the form of a meeting 
attended apparently by the whole undergraduate body 
in one of the New Haven halls. Or it might be a 
march direct to the woods on Tutor's Lane. But in 
either case, there was a funeral sermon, original odes 
apt to be in Latin a dirge, prayer, torchlights, gro- 
tesque garbs, a funeral pyre with overlooking demons, 
a grave for the deceased, cremation and burial with 
the normal accessories of derisive song, howls and per- 
vasive undergraduate racket. The lighted procession, 
moving from the Green northward, was, of course, the 
Euclidean piece de resistance, a thing of delight for the 
town spectators of both sexes and all ages and a spec- 
tacular event of the year. The old programs indi- 


cate that the mortuary ceremonies were of a rather pro- 
tracted character, reaching into the small hours and 
that the Chapel benches next morning must have had 
a thin crop. 

Sometimes the Greek mathematician appears to 
have been simulated by an actual human effigy in classic 
garb, bearing on breast or in hand the hated volume. 
But usually the volume itself was carried within a small 
coffin at the head of the procession with its escort of 
funeral torchlights. 

On its artistic side the Orgies of the Burial are 
depicted in a cartoon indefinite as to date, of large 
dimensions and lurid atmosphere, a yeasty compound 
of fire and fury, yet bristling with detail. Jupiter 
or somebody like him sits aloft, presiding genius of 
the fiery energies below. In the midfield is the coffin 
mounted on blazing tar barrels with supervising demon 
stokers. On the right is the mystic symbol of a terri- 
fied dog "going some," tail 'twixt legs. In lower right- 
hand angle is the portrait of somebody with no attempt 
at caricature, apparently a contemporaneous instructor 
in mathematics, while in the left-hand angle a profes- 
sorial figure, book in hand, bears a striking likeness to 
President Woolsey. A despairing, half-naked student 
with face of richest gloom shares the lower foreground 
with a weeping Crocodile. Demons embattled and 
rampant students on hobby horses, a dim forest back- 
ground, fill in a picture on which the draftsman must 
have stayed up enough hours to master half the prob- 
lems of the flaming text-book. 

The program of the Class of '55 for the burial, in 
November, 1852, runs substantially as follows: 


Order of Exercises 

1. Music. 

2. Salutationis Carmen in lingua Latina. 

3. Music. 

4. Oration. 

5. Song. 

6. Poem. 

7. Procession to Grave. 

8. Prayer at Grave. 

9. Song. 

10. Procession from Grave. 

This condensed order is developed in the body of 
the program, as follows: 

1. Overture Go to the Devil and shake yourself. 

2. Salutationis Carmen By the Valedictorian. 

3. Romanza Old Grimes is dead by the Home Blenders. 

4. Oration How are the mighty fallen by Lord North's 

practical speaker. 

5. Song, Air "O Pueri me Circumferte" by How-are- 


6. Hell Regained by Hon. Thomas Cat, Jr. 

7. Defiling Procession to the Grave, the Home Blenders 

playing, "Are We Almost There?" 

8. Prayer at the Grave, with closing observations by a 

talented Theolog. 

9. Dirge Air, "Auld Lang Syne" by the Lean Muse. 
10. Friends of the Family, and others, return in procession 

of the equinoxes. 

More elaborate is the program of the Class of '57 
at the burial of November 8, 1854: 




Order of Procession 

1. Band-itti. 

2. Physician and Priest. 
. 3. Undertaker. 

4. Bearers (cut of coffin) Bearers. 

5. Chief Mourners. 

Madame Euclid. 
Miss Anna Lytics. 

attended by 
Mr. D. A. Revised. 
Faculty and Fresh. 

6. Friends of the deceased. 

Developed thus in the body of the program: 

1. Overture, from Bob the Devil. 

2. Introductory Ode, by Major Natur Caput. 

3. Music by the Ban (d) jo. 

4. Oration (De) Cease (of) Rude Bore-us, by a member 

of the Bore(a)ed. 

5. Music, Solow on the Triangle. 

6. Funeral Sermon, by Moses in the Chapel Rushes. 

7. Song, Time, "Skool," "Skool." 

8. Procession at the funeral pyre. 

9. Prayer at the Grave by Rt. Rev. U. B. Damned. 

10. Dirge by Asoph O. More. 

11. Incantation by Hon. Sir Cumference. 

12. Ad Urbem fugiamus, "Hellward he wends his weary 


There are naturally punning personalities running 
through the years at the various burials. Thus the 
Class of 1858 had music by the harp (i.e.)s; A dis- 
course by Double L. Dee; "Child Mourners" Ana 
Tommy and Theo. Dolite; and the parade was 
ordered in "Geometrical Progression" by a Parallel of 


Pipe(d)s, while the salutatory ovation was assigned to 
(D)Arn old Latin Prose. The Class of 1859 na d a 
poem by A. Rhum boy (d), a discourse by General 
Proportion and as mourners Aunty Cedent, Geo. 
Metry and Cora Lary. The Class of 1860 boasted a 
discourse by a tan(d) gent, and a poem, "Mysteries 
of Paris," by Helen, while friends of the deceased 
were Parent Hesis, Theo. Rem, Polly Gon and C. 

So far as can be found, only two copies of the 
Euclidean sermons remain in print. They are of rather 
diluted wit, bristling with indifferent puns and the long- 
est of the two dwelling on Euclid's birth, relations with 
the other sex, courtship and honeymoon in terms that 
in these days would be quickly expunged from under- 
graduate print and have brought to wreck the later 
Thanksgiving jubilees. But the rest of the literature 
averages better; and there is noteworthy among the 
prose products a Latin prayer opening thus : 

O rex inexorabilis, illacrymabilis Manium dicte Pluto, qui atro 
Cocyto, Acheronte, Pyriphlegethonteque tristes foraminum um- 
Semper compescis hanc nostrum obsecrationem audi. 

and the text of a sermon of the Class of '52 reads: 

"When a straight line standing on another straight 
line makes the adjacent angles equal to one another 
each of these angles is called a three and a half and the 
line thus placed is called a rush." 


In the poetry of the Burial, the Sophomore Muse 
flew frequently if not high, much affecting the Latin 


suggesting, for one thing, closer familiarity of the 
undergraduate with that tongue then than now. Here 
is an excerpt from a one-hundred line poem of the 
Class of '44: 

When first in thy swaddling clothes, puny and weak 

The lips of thine infancy essayed to speak 
And a parent bent o'er thee all eager to hear 

A mother's fond title breathed forth in her ear 
How she started amazed and her heart sank away 

For angle and angle was all thou couldst say. 
They brought for thee playthings and toys by the score 

But still with thy fingers at work on the floor 
Thou seemed drawing figures all deeply in thought 

While playthings and baubles were scorned and forgot. 

Propositions and problems and squares were thy song 
Which, waking or sleeping still dwelt on thy tongue. 

From the dirge of the Class of '53 comes this: 

Black curls the smoke above the pile 

And snaps the crackling fire ; 
The joyful shouts of Merry Sophs 

With wails and groans conspire. 
May yells more fiendish greet thy ears, 

And flames yet hotter glow ; 
May fiercer torments rack thy soul 

In Pluto's realms below. 

A burial song of the Class of '54 ends with this 
stanza : 

No more we gaze upon that board 

Where oft our knowledge failed, 
As we its mystic lines ignored, 

On cruel points impaled. 
We're free ! Hurrah ! from Euclid free ! 

Farewell, Misnamed Playfair. 
Farewell, thou Worthy Tutor B, 

Shake hands and call it square. 


Mr. Playfair was the editor of the then orthodox 
edition of Euclid. The next extract is from the dirge 
of the Class of '55: 

Old Euk is nicely caged at last, 

He's fairly in a box. 
Hurrah ! Hurrah ! We've got him fast 

In spite of the old fox. 


Then lay him in his hole, my boys, 
We've made him shroud and shrive, 

Wretch ne'er had fairer dole, my boys, 
Than "Euk" from Fifty Five. 

Sophomore bombast wings itself high in these lines 
at the Burial of 1850: 

Lo! Euclid yields! the unconquered hero bends 
Lowers his proud crest and to the tomb descends ! 

While in his victor, bathed in dust and gore, 
Behold ! Behold ! the mighty Sophomore. 

And here are mortuary rhymes of other Classes 

Thou must survey inhospitable tracts 

And find the horizontal parallax. 
Oft we with his curved triangles 

Found ourselves in quite a fix. 

Now his lines he takes to Hades 

He'll try angling in the Styx. 

But know ye wretched Freshmen 
That Euclid is not dead. 

He is not dead but sleepeth 
Upon Lethean bed. 


If he be dead to Sophomores 

He is not dead to you, 
Long shall he live, Long shall he live 

To fizzle Sixty Two. 

We'll make his antiquated face 
Far less than any given space 
Extract his root and square his base. 

The Burial died with the Class of '63, the victim 
apparently of a reform movement aimed at its extrava- 
gances. The class had a mild celebration, but the next 
class ('64) dropped a custom that must have reached 
to a Yale antiquity very remote for as early as 1843, 
it was referred to as "handed down from time imme- 
morial." A greater mystery is how and why the Spar- 
tan Faculty of those days permitted it to live with its 
reflections on authority, its lurid racket and its lapses 
into sacrilegious and prurient speech. From the present 
viewpoint it might be reasoned that it was a safety 
valve through which the undergraduate engine let off 
steam. But that was a breadth of vision to which the 
ancestral Faculty never expanded. 



In the copious diary of President Ezra Stiles of 
Yale, under date of September 4, 1782, appears the 
following entry, perhaps the earliest official record of 
trouble between town and gown of New Haven. 

A great Contest has arisen between Young Sirs and Col- 
legians on one side and Gentlemen in town, chiefly of Academic 
Education, and some Merchants on the other. It has been 
customary for those who graduated at Commencement to have 
a Ball in the State House the evening following and invite 
their Friends and Relations this produced a promiscuous 
Assembly. The Gentlemen of the Town are desirous of a 
politer Ball for Gentlemen of the Army and other Strangers 
and claimed the Courthouse. Half a dozen Bachelors of Arts 
residing in Town chiefly and not in College joyned in a separa- 
tion from their College Brethren & among the rest Sir who 

spake with less delicacy than was prudent upon the Candidates 
and their Company. This excited the resentment of all Col- 
lege. On Monday night last the Undergraduates in disguise 
took him under the College pump, an high Indignity to any 
& especially towds a Graduate. He, instead of entering a 
Complaint to the College Authority complained to the Grand 
Jury & obtained a Presentment; & also brot an Action at 
Common Law for 1000 Pounds Damages. 

The foregoing was not as appears a strictly town 
and gown trouble. It was a broil of undergraduates 
with New Haven's 400 rather than with her submerged 
tenth. But it suggests the pugnacious temper of the 
undergraduate body which could thus "take under the 
pump" a Yale man certified by his sheepskin. If such 


was their even fortuitous attitude to an older Yale 
kinsman, what must have been their normal posture 
toward a genuine and aggressive u townie"? 

During those closing decades of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, local conditions were peculiarly hospitable to town 
and gown feuds and frays. When New Haven was 
made a city in 1784, the whole township by the next 
census of 1790 contained but 4,484 inhabitants, the 
city itself probably several hundred fewer and the Col- 
lege in relation to the town stood in much larger socio- 
logical ratio than now. This alone would not have 
made the city a town and gown arena. But New 
Haven was also a seaport where Jack Tar of the Eng- 
lish, Spanish and Portuguese breed sported freely 
'tween voyages; and his excursions to Chapel Street 
bearing an overloaded cargo of rum brought him in 
so frequent collision with the Yale student himself 
not always painfully sober that the annals of the time 
recall the asperities of town and gown in Oxford as 
depicted in English literature. To that period and 
the early part of the nineteenth century belong the 
"defense committee" of undergraduates, formed nomi- 
nally, year after year, to oppose the attacks of the 
mariners, but also, it may be plausibly suspected, with 
offensive proclivities of its own on occasion; and an 
outcome still later was the "bully" system, with its 
class bullies, major and minor, who, along with the 
historical annex of the "bully club," have been too 
often written about to need description here. 

As the city grew and the visiting sailors segregated 
themselves more and more at their shady resorts near 
the "Head of the Wharf," the contests of the seamen 
and undergraduates visibly diminish until there comes 
a brief period of town and gown truce, when the lights 


of local war history burn dim. But a new war soon 
follows between the academic body and the volunteer 
fire companies. The latter, in New Haven, appear to 
have been a pretty harum-scarum lot, drawn, as a rule, 
from the lower middle group of young citizens, loyal 
to their hand-engine and to nothing else, and quick at 

Just when and why the new warfare began are ob- 
scure points. But it is certain that it fills a large place 
in town and gown annals during the early middle dec- 
ades of the last century. The first real outbreak in 
riot was October 30, 1841, when the city fire depart- 
ment had its parade, with the usual accompaniments of 
rival tests in throwing water against the spire of Center 
Church. At the same time the undergraduates were 
having a game of football on the Green. The hose 
lay invitingly across the ball ground, was trodden on by 
the students, the free and full play of water checked, 
and, after hard words by both sides, the firemen seized 
the ball. A small riot followed in which three stu- 
dents were arrested, escorted to a justice of the peace 
by a mixed and boisterous crowd of students and fire- 
men, the usual bail given and the trial adjourned. 
That evening at midnight the students attacked the 
engine house on High Street lineal predecessor of 
the present Yale carpentry shop drove away the 
watchman, shattered the engine, cut the hose and flung 
the sections over the college yard. The fire bells were 
rung and an angry crowd of students and citizens 
gathered, but the Faculty and city officers quelled the 
incipient riot. 

In the spring of 1854 was the most serious riot in 
New Haven town and gown records, in Homan's 
Theater, then a part of what is now the Exchange 


Building, at the corner of Church and Chapel Streets. 
A popular English actor, named Plunkett, and his wife 
were playing a tragedy, "Fazio, or The Italian Wife," 
which was drawing large audiences. At the perform- 
ance on the evening of March 16, and in one of the 
interludes, a comic Irish singer got too many recalls 
from a crowd of firemen in the gallery to suit the taste 
of a body of students in the orchestra chairs. The 
chairs hissed the gallery and the gallery hissed the 
chairs, but this disturbance quieted down until the close 
of the performance, when the firemen, aided by a num- 
ber of longshoremen, had a set-to with the students on 
the sidewalk. The police then took a hand and haled a 
number of the fighters to police headquarters, where 
"Pat" O'Neill, a longshoreman, was put under $300 
bonds to keep the peace, and the rest discharged. The 
affair, of course, roused a fever of excitement on the 
Campus, and the next night about one hundred and 
fifty of the students bought tickets to the floor of the 
theater and attended in a body to "see the thing 
through." They sat quietly enough through the play, 
but in the interludes were the targets of abuse and an 
occasional missile from the gallery. Meanwhile, the 
fire bells had been rung in the city and a great mob of 
roughs had gathered on Chapel Street bent on mischief. 
Just at the close of the performance, the city chief of 
police met the Yale boys, told them of the situation 
outside and advised that they go out by the back door, 
"keep together" in a solid body and march up Chapel 
Street to the Campus as quickly as possible. 

The students took his advice, went out in close order 
and, in ranks of four, began their rapid march up 
Chapel Street amid the yells and din of the mob. But 
there was nothing worse than yells until just opposite 


Trinity Church, where a high board fence brought out 
the figures of the marchers in bold relief in the clear 
moonlight; and, unluckily, just at that juncture, the 
raising of the "Gaudeamus" song of the collegians was 
probably interpreted by the mob as a defiance. A 
fusillade of bricks and stones followed from the mob 
and two or three pistol shots from the students. Just 
then Pat O'Neill, who was an active and noisy leader 
of the rioters, seized John Sims, '54, of Mississippi, 
who was last in the Yale line, and tried to pull him 
back into the mob. At this focal point of the tragedy, 
the stories diverge. As one narrator has it, O'Neill 
struck Sims twice with an iron bar; as another tells 
the story, O'Neill tried to choke Sims and pull him 
backward into the crowd. Sims met the assault by 
drawing a bowie knife and stabbing O'Neill through 
the side to the heart. The rioter fell dead, the mob 
gathered in silence around the body and the students 
went on to the college yard. 

But the silence of the mob was short-lived. Its 
anger burst forth in new shouts and fury, the fire bells 
clanged out anew and a great gathering of the worst 
elements of the city massed on College Street before 
South College, pelting the ancient structure with brick- 
bats and stones. The mob broke into the Armory, 
drew out two cannon, loaded them heavily with chain 
and stones and levelled them at Old South. The mayor 
of the city had read the riot act from the college fence, 
but the mob cried "Bring out the murderer," and re- 
fused to disperse. Meanwhile the Yale forces had not 
been idle. Almost every undergraduate had entered 
South or South Middle, the blinds were shut upon the 
windows, the doors barricaded, and munitions of war 
gathered. Judge Howland, '54, qul pars fuit, has told 


in print how President Woolsey appeared on the scene 
and ordered the boys to keep quiet unless attacked, but 
in that case "to defend yourselves to the best of your 
ability," and there is a tradition that Prof. "Tommy" 
Thacher aided the college boys in moulding bullets 
behind the academic breastworks. There were lively 
and critical times at the cannon, which the mob tried 
over and over again to fire. But, as the faded page 
of one of the contemporary newspapers relates: "Cap- 
tain Bissell, of the police, managed to keep possession 
of one of the guns while other citizens took charge of 
the other, and they prevented the horrors which would 
have resulted from the discharge of either, for the con- 
tents would probably have passed through the buildings 
into the dwellings of citizens." The mob yelled for 
an hour or two longer, then slowly broke up and the 
historic riot ended. But for a week no collegian dared 
at nights to go outside the Campus. It is recorded 
that one of the cannon was loaded so heavily that it 
burst when discharged later. 

A coroner's investigation followed before a jury of 
twelve, among whose names are to be read those of 
so well-remembered citizens as Morris Tyler, Willis 
Bristol, Caleb Mix, Samuel Bishop and George Hoad- 
ley, with Philip S. Galpin as foreman. Sims, who had 
lost his hat, bearing his name, in the fray with O'Neill, 
hired legal counsel, who advised him and his college 
mates to refuse to testify on the technical ground of 
self-incrimination for taking part in a riot. The news- 
paper account of the hearing is, therefore, little more 
than a dry record of refusals to answer, if we except, 
perhaps, a statement of Professor Larned that "long 
since (in the Faculty) the principle of compelling stu- 
dents to inform on one another has been abandoned as 


wholly ineffectual." But the case was clear enough 
against O'Neill, who, as the jury found, "came to his 
death at the hands of a person or persons to us un- 
known the said Patrick O'Neill being at the time 
engaged in leading, aiding and abetting a riot." Partly 
as a result of the tragedy, Sims left College in his 
Senior year. He served in the Confederate Army as 
surgeon with rank of major during the Civil War and 
was killed just after the battle of Cedar Creek. 

Not less tragic but more distinctly a firemen's riot 
and more mystic in its sequels was the battle of col- 
legians with the firemen in 1858. Its exciting causes 
were simple. A New Haven fire company had its 
house in what is now the Yale carpentry shop on High 
Street, near Alumni Hall. Just above at the corner of 
Elm Street was a Yale "joint," called the "Crocodile" 
eating club. Ever since the riot of 1854, there had 
been ill feeling between the firemen and students, 
which had slowly intensified. One of its most flaming 
local points was the High Street engine house, past 
which the "Crocodiles" marched defiantly night after 
night singing "Gaudeamus." The old feud came to a 
head when the "Crocodiles," on the night of February 
8, 1858, passing the engine house, were greeted with 
a shower of mingled water and stones. A parley fol- 
lowed which was but a stratagem of the firemen to 
gain time, while one of their number went for rein- 
forcements. These presently appeared in a troop of 
firemen dashing up from Chapel Street. Then the 
spokesman of the firemen in the overture, one William 
Miles, armed with a hose wrench, threw off the mask 
and called for an attack. In the riot that followed, 
several pistol shots were fired and Miles fell with a 
wound from which he died two days later. The fire- 


men retreated to their house as soon as their leader 
went down. A period of intense excitement followed 
with "town" threats of violence against the college 
buildings and students, and measures of self-defense 
by the undergraduates. 

An investigation by the grand jury followed. The 
students summoned adopted the precedent of 1854 in 
refusing to testify on the ground of self-incrimination. 
This time the presiding justice took the law in his own 
hands and signed a mittimus committing to jail one of 
the Yale witnesses. The students hired as his counsel 
Henry B. Harriman, Yale '46, and Charles R. Inger- 
soll, Yale '40 each to be afterwards Governor of 
Connecticut and the student was promptly released 
by a writ of habeas corpus. Next came the appeal 
heard by Chief Justice Storrs, a name luminous in the 
annals of the Connecticut bench, who, after a long 
hearing in a crowded court, rendered a decision up- 
holding the student in his refusal to testify. There 
the case ended, save an immense output of literature on 
both sides, and sharp criticism by the local press on the 
secrecy of the grand jury investigation, from which 
the public had been excluded and which was denounced 
as smacking of the Spanish inquisition. 

"Who killed Miles?" was a question involving a 
mystery which has been discussed to this day by the 
later Yale generations. Oddly enough, for years a 
prominent Southerner of the Class of '59, still living, 
was named, but wrongly, as has been proved. Ac- 
cording to another legend, the fatal shot was reduced 
to one of two men, one of whom many years later 
exculpated himself to a prominent professor, thus fix- 
ing the crime upon the other. But the tale is foggy, the 
mystery remains unsolved, and will doubtless continue 


so to the end. As several pistols were fired in the dark- 
ness, perhaps the student who fired the fatal shot never 
was sure of it himself. 

Looking back from our viewpoint, the epoch of the 
firemen's riots of town and gown with their twin trage- 
dies seems due mainly to two immediate causes. One 
was the stupidity of the city fathers in locating an 
engine house right on the edge of the Campus, pre- 
cisely where it was most likely to foment a broil. A 
second promoting cause was the persistent custom of 
the students in singing through the streets and not 
always in classic words or tune. The singing marked 
the students down and seems gradually to have become 
interpreted by the rough "townies" as a note of chal- 
lenge and defiance. Certainly, the newspapers of the 
time repeatedly refer to its provocative quality and it 
hardly seems a mere coincidence that the good old 
song "Gaudeamus" should have been the death note 
in two town and gown tragedies. 



The erection of Yale's great dining hall, in a sense, 
may be said to set the seal of approval of the Yale 
authorities of the twentieth century on the gastronomic 
wisdom of the founders two hundred years ago. The 
latter deemed the old "Commons" almost as much an 
essential and integral part of the "learned education" 
as a text-book or moral discipline. The new Com- 
mons, with its costly modern plant, makes the old 
policy institutional and at once fixes and repeats his- 
tory. It also repeats history by being born with an 
opening chapter of student asperities over the quality 
of the food. 

The general story of the Yale Commons through 
the eighteenth century reads like a wild nightmare fol- 
lowing a bad meal. And there were reasons for it, 
based on human nature. In the first place, Commons 
was compulsory, a fact of itself enough to make it a 
target of undergraduate feeling. It was a kind of vent 
hole through which all the grievances of the student 
life frothed. Were there a new and "hard" study 
imposed, or a case of sharp discipline for student 
pranks in Chapel or a revolt against an unpopular 
instructor, they were pretty sure to be connoted in "dis- 
orders" at the Commons with a byplay of broken 
crockery and jests levelled at the food. So when we 
read that a choral BeBaa, second perfect indicative of 
Baivw, greeted a dish at the Commons, it is not neces- 


sarily to be inferred that too antique mutton was 
dressed lamb fashion; or, if a placque of eighteenth 
century butter flattened itself against the Commons 
ceiling, that it had been churned in the age of Pythag- 
oras or disinterred by Schliemann. 

But the acrimony, which rises constantly, like an 
uneasy ghost, in the story of the early Commons and 
punctuates so often the faded pages of the Stiles diary, 
had, after all, a firmer base than undergraduate restive- 
ness. Board was about one dollar a week, which 
implied a menu that even in the eighteenth century 
could not have been satisfying for the stomach, how- 
ever ascetic. Thus, for example, meat was theoreti- 
cally prescribed once a day; but the records show that 
twice a week in summer time it could be commuted for 
salt pork. Cider succeeding earlier and very tenuous 
beer was passed around from mouth to mouth in a 
large pewter dipper. Plain bread seems to have been 
the veritable staff of life at breakfast, and apple pie, 
in a period when New England orchards were prolific, 
figures at meals with dismal monotony. Noting this 
dominance of the apple in the Yale official diet of the 
time, one marvels that the Commons steward failed 
to hit on the device expressed in the later skit, and 
purvey water for breakfast, dried apples for dinner and 
let them swell for supper. It is true that, as a quali- 
fying fact, certain of the tutors were forced to eat at 
the old Commons and were charged with keeping order 
in an institution not promotive of Chesterfieldian eti- 
quette. But the records of the rebellion of 1819 prove 
that the tutorial table was showered with some special 
titbits from the kitchen which exempted it from the 
general famine. 

A font of tribulation annexed to the old Commons 


was the buttery gushing such entries in the Stiles 
diary as this: 

"March 26, 1782 this evening about 20 or 25 
scholars went into a great tumult and riot in contempt 
of a public judgment and punishment inflicted in the 
chapel for damages done to the Hall and Buttery. 
Upon which they collected in a body for the demolition 
of Old College." 

The buttery was a kind of eighteenth century ana- 
logue of the sutler's store or army canteen, where food 
and drink could be bought to fill the aching voids of the 
Commons obviously thus an arch foe of old Yale 
democracy and strongly savoring of "graft." It seems 
to have been for a time the source of a Faculty order 
allowing students to dodge the phantom suppers of 
the Commons and buy food and drink for supper in 
their rooms hence new saturnalia in the dormitories 
and more entries in the Stiles diary. 

The vexations of the Commons reached two cli- 
maxes or rather a sub-climax and a climax later. 
The sub-climax was the first Bread and Butter Rebel- 
lion of 1819. For several days the students stayed 
away from the Commons hall, meanwhile sending in 
to the Faculty a long rehearsal of their woes. Their 
specifications included drunkenness of the steward, 
insolence of cooks and waiters, ham of mighty but 
malodorous strength, ill-washed dishes, infirm coffee, 
a "graft" in which the steward sold the Commons pie 
to outsiders, entertainment of loose and mixed com- 
pany in the kitchen and undue kitchen perquisites for 
the tutors' table. It was a rigid and searching investi- 
gation by the Faculty that followed, filling three days of 
session and two old manuscript volumes, with every 
waiter and the steward under cross-examination for 


and what with the degrading of the steward and the 

as in onr day of 

quaked the Uniwqsitf to its 
On the fdknr maHnmpts that, with the 

older of the records of a tdjutt-inj 1 f iial,, set uutth. the 

reference to Upper and .Lower 
after deeper reses 

- fl, mtm o*. !! M^*mMkAl >1 l^^fftfMnm fj^" >-J 

. r . c . >. .. .'. _ . ?-r . r . _ . . r'_ ~ _.r ^ - r 



^^ . H- ^4; .-I 

me meaa ana 
War, 1 " was four 


The rebels, numbering "133 out of 261 in the three 
lower classes of whom 29 do not board in the hall and 
58 are out of town," took legal as well as moral 
grounds, asserting violation of a statute under which 
the Commons steward was ordered to provide board 
such as prevailed in private families. But the Faculty 
brushed the law roughly aside, refused to negotiate 
until the return of the rebels to the Commons and 
expelled four who were summoned before the Faculty, 
and refused to yield. This joined heart with stomach 
in the revolt. There was an aggressive mass meeting 
in Hillhouse Woods, a later and "hands all around" 
parting on the Green and the seceders scattered to 
their homes. Later in cooler blood and under parental 
stress, most of them signed a set formula of apology 
and submission and returned repeating in a major 
key the experience of the schoolboy who gets a thrash- 
ing at school and a second thrashing at home. The 
old Yale graduate may be permitted to smile freely as 
he reads in the list of signers thus forced to eat more 
humble pie than that in Commons, the name of Elias 

The output of literature while the "Bread and But- 
ter Rebellion" lasted was prodigious. Petitions, pro- 
tests, circulars from the Faculty to parents and the 
public, "letters to the editor" and like screeds fill many 
broadsides and not a few columns of the newspapers 
in and out of New Haven. The New Haven Chron- 
icle, a weekly newspaper of that time, tells us of an 
offer of an unknown donor to pay the tuition ($33 a. 
year) of 100 poor students who "design entering the 
ministry"; and a letter of the elder Professor Silliman 
penned to President Day then at Andover, Mass. 
and giving a kind of diary of the rebellion, refers to 


the gift as one outcome of the trouble perhaps the 
tribute of an admirer to the stern and unyielding exer- 
cise of academic authority. There is no actual record 
of the gift, but one scents in it the germ of the later 
and abundant scholarships of the Divinity School 
which have had to be diluted by the new scheme of 
service and self-help. As to the rebellion itself, it was 
the last overt mutiny in the Commons. But disturb- 
ances did not end and a theft of the Commons turkeys 
was a culminating act that extinguished the institution 
in 1841, to be revived twenty-five years later with a 
representative of each table to make complaints, in 
whom the "Grievance Committee" of 1903 again 
repeats history. 

Henry Ward Beecher, lecturing in the Lyman 
Beecher Course of the Divinity School thirty years 
ago, in the after-catechizing was asked by a theologue 
a diffuse question as to the general policy of pastors. 
Mr. Beecher looked quizzically at his questioner and 
answered: "What sized coats do people in general 
wear?" The reply covers the whole problem at the 
Commons. It can be solved only when the Powers 
That Be can equate human stomachs and suspend the 
Latin proverb de gustibus non. To the young epicu- 
rean from Fifth Avenue or even to some less gilded 
devotee of "mother's cooking," the fare of the Com- 
mons may be the target of scorn, while to the youth 
from the starved New England farm, it smacks of the 
ambrosia of the gods. To bracket the two types of 
appetite is not within human ken, but meanwhile, out 
of the old vexations of the institution, both parties to 
its welfare may pluck some consoling philosophy. 


Recent graduates of Yale, as well as her undergrad- 
uates, have scant conception of how physical Yale in 
the days of the old Brick Row adapted herself to stu- 
dent mischief and pranks, in contrast with the time of 
her present stately quadrangle. Not to mention Cam- 
pus policemen and electric glare o' nights, there is now 
the open quadrangle with narrow entrances, save only 
the open stretch between Dwight Hall and the old 
Library. By contrast, the Campus of a third of a 
century ago was, as to its internal and external layout, 
a standing invitation to trouble. The whole College 
Square was open to advance and flight; the huge elms, 
sung by the Yale poets, covered behind their boles and 
under their obscuring branches many a nocturnal fugi- 
tive from the pursuing tutor; there were easy lines of 
retreat around the corners and through the passages 
of the old Brick Row; and, behind the Row, was the 
jungle of buildings made up of the two coal yards, the 
Cabinet building, the Laboratory and Trumbull Gal- 

But there were two peculiar focal centers of mis- 
chief and disorder, whose full powers as disturbers of 
the peace are only fully realized now when a new struc- 
tural order on the Campus has swept them away. They 
were the Athenaeum, crowned by the circular observa- 
tory much famed by the staccato jokes of Professor 
Loomis, and the Lyceum, crested by the scabby pagoda 


that sheltered the college bell. Freshmen going to and 
from recitation crossed and recrossed the orbits of the 
Sophomores also moving toward their dingy class- 
rooms. The stone walk was narrow and, if no tutor 
was in sight, Sophomores had acute ideas on the sub- 
ject of its incapacity for serving both classes at once. 
In days when Sophomore and Freshmen were at hot 
feud for two-thirds of each college year, when hazing 
was rife and the nightly rush was orthodox, the prox- 
imity of the two old buildings as an incentive to aca- 
demic strife may be inferred. They were, in truth, the 
Corea and Manchuria of the wars of the two under 
classes and their connecting flagstones were watched 
sharply by the Faculty whenever Washington's Birth- 
day or the Day of Prayer for Colleges let out the 
Sophomore divisions from morning recitation in a 
holiday temper of aggression. It was such a local 
status of the rival structures that led, in general, to 
many cases of marks, letters home and sterner Fac- 
ulty discipline; and it was such a status, in particular, 
that caused the great snowball fight in the winter term 
of 1869. 

There are four degrees of fitness of snow for con- 
flict: One when the snow is crisp and dry underfoot 
and when there can be no snowballing at all; a second, 
when crust must be broken to reach moist snow; a 
third, when the snow is moist but light and its missiles 
innocuous ; and a fourth, when the new snow, saturated 
by rain or fog, packs hard, tight and heavy under the 
hand and becomes, relatively, deadly. It was under 
the conditions last named that the great snowball fight 
was joined. Its casus belli was simple and undiplo- 
matic. One moist day in January, 1869, following a 
heavy snow fall, half a dozen Sophomores of the Class 


of Seventy-One came out from noon recitation at the 
Lyceum in a playful mood of reaction after the throes 
of Greek tragedy under Professor Packard. Into the 
Sophomoric mind there entered then the pleasant 
notion of a kind of ambuscade just around the south- 
west angle of South Middle and "plugging" the Fresh- 
men as they came out from the alley on their way to 
High Street. For a few minutes from the Sophomoric 
viewpoint, the plan worked cheerfully. Freshman 
after Freshman, as he turned the angle, was duly 
"plugged" by a volley of snowballs and expedited 
toward his dinner; when suddenly a rosy cheeked 
young Freshman, braver than his mates he has since 
become a famous doctor in defiance of all the prece- 
dents of Sophomore warfare, turned on his foes and 
began to "plug" back. 

"Rub him," shouted the Sophomores, and with the 
words, a stalwart '71 man leaped for the youngster. 
Both fell on the snow together. But the Freshman 
was sinewy and agile and the "rubbing" was imperfect 
and took time. The rough and tumble struggle at the 
end of the alley blocked up the string of Freshmen 
coming through. Numbers gave them courage. First 
they began to volley the Sophomoric rubber, then 
turned on the main body of ambuscaders and so the 
great battle opened. 

For the first quarter hour, the combat was little more 
than an intensified skirmish, with single combats in the 
foreground. Here and there a group of Sophomores 
would charge a body of Freshmen, and now and then 
a rough and tumble scrimmage would ensue with each 
side encouraging its own man by shouts and discourag- 
ing the other man with snowballs. But the combatants 
would part and the general firing start anew. Then 


each side began to be reinforced. Sophomore divisions 
tumbled out from the Lyceum to join their mates and 
more Freshmen came from the Athenaeum classrooms. 
The thickening tide of battle began to drift to High 
Street, the windows of the Cabinet building came into 
the line of fire and the sharp crash of glass began to 
punctuate the class shouts. This was the usual juncture 
for the Faculty to appear, but for some reason unfath- 
omed, no professor or tutor came. The conflict deep- 
ened and by the time the drifting forces had reached 
High Street, there were forty or fifty men on a side 
and the set-to was fast waxing to the dimensions of a 
pitched battle of the two classes. 

Just as the moving fight reached High Street, oppo- 
site the old Library, the Sophomores gathered their 
forces and made a determined charge. Slowly, but 
with increasing momentum, they pushed the Freshmen 
down Library Street. It began to look like a rout for 
'72, and an onward spurt by '71 just then would have 
changed the whole fortune of the day. But suddenly 
a stream of Freshmen, who had been practicing in the 
Gymnasium poured out, and another Freshman rein- 
forcement came from the eating clubs on York Street. 
A new Freshman stand was made in front of the Gym- 
nasium and the main battle of the day was on. The 
Freshmen were massed between the Gymnasium and 
the brick buildings opposite ; the attacking Sophomores 
fronted them on Library Street with right wing de- 
ployed on the Gymnasium lot and partly covered by 
the angle of the building. 

Not while memory lasts will the graduate of '71 or 
'72 forget the snowball struggle that ensued for the 
better part of an hour. The Yale catalog of the 
time tells us that '71 had a registration of in men 


and '72 of 176, and at least two-thirds of each class 
were actively in the engagement. Seventy-One had 
pluck and a Sophomoric zest for attack, and what '72 
as Freshmen lacked in organization and confidence was 
offset by numbers, and by a strong body of throwers, 
indexed a little later by a triumphant class nine and 
large representation on the University baseball team. 
The battlefield itself was a thrilling scene. For ten 
feet above it the air was literally vibrant with lines of 
white. Fancy two opposed snowstorms driven by a 
gale and every flake magnified into a small cannon shot, 
and we get some crude idea of that atmospheric spec- 
tacle. The big white bullets impinged on heads, bodies 
and limbs, drew many a ruddy stream from contused 
noses, "thudded" against fence, tree or brick wall, and 
now and then shivered a Gymnasium window pane. 
High Street was a veritable gallery of spectators. 
Upperclassmen, townspeople, men and women, and 
not a few of the Faculty were there, thronging the 
sidewalk and roadway and reaching in a long line up 
to the Yale carpenter shop. A humorous element in 
the conflict were the contingents on each side of twenty 
or more men of the feminine type of thrower, hardly 
able to fling a ball in weak curve across Library Street. 
But these technical weaklings showed pluck in the 
front ranks, served to draw the fire of the enemy and, 
later, were of service as a kind of ammunition train 
for the men who could fire with force and precision. 

The snow battle now entered its last stage. As 
fighter after fighter on the Sophomore side grew 
bloody, weakened and a bit discouraged, the Soph 
leaders, seeing their class outnumbered and outclassed 
in throwing, decided that something must be done. A 
conference of two or three was held, the word went 


around and presently some twenty of the stalwart Soph 
warriors, carrying each some half dozen hard balls, 
quietly gathered under the cover of the Gymnasium 
corner. Then with a rush and a shout, they charged 
straight for the center of the host of '72. For a 
moment the Freshman center gave way. But a minute 
or two more and the snowballs from fifty strong Fresh- 
men arms began to converge at close quarters on the 
little attacking column. Flesh and blood could not 
resist that deadly hail in which a fighter had to take at 
times half a dozen balls a minute on vulnerable cheek, 
nose, ear or eye. The Sophomore column recoiled to 
its protective Gymnasium angle. At Waterloo the Old 
Guard made but one attack. At the Battle of the 
Gymnasium Lot, the Old Guard of '71 made a second 
advance, only to be driven back once more. 

Then after the long battle had been fought for 
nearly two hours came the climax. The leaders of 
'72 saw in front only a weak body of scattered throwers 
and on the right wing the repulsed and disheartened 
Old Guard. With a shout, the '72 commander called 
for a general advance, and with a whoop and a rush 
it came. It swept away like straws the Sophomore 
remnant of Library Street. On the Gymnasium lot 
there was a moment's resistance, but there, too, what 
was left of the Old Guard was rushed down to the 
fence. "Throw them over," shouted the Freshman 
captains, and one by one the last of the Sophs very 
last of them all, one who since has become a distin- 
guished judge were tumbled over on the sidewalk. 
The great snowball fight was over and '72 had won. 
The Freshmen gave nine cheers for themselves and 
went off to dinner or the doctors. Seventy-one went 
off to both, without the cheers. 


A cold snap stiffened the battlefield that night, and 
for days it was a sight, with its trampled, blood- 
streaked snow, and fences, walls and the tree trunks 
dabbed thick with the "starfish" of the snowballs. At 
Chapel next morning blackened eyes, bruised faces and 
disfigured noses gave the Sophomore and Freshmen 
benches the semblance of a hospital ward. Two or 
three victims of the fight had a close call on permanent 
injury to eyesight, but all pulled through in time ; and 
the Battle of the Gymnasium Lot, fiercest and most 
prolonged of the conflicts of Yale under classes, after 
red lettering for a few undergraduate years the annals 
of '71 and '72, passed into the limbo of unwritten his- 
tory. The snowball skirmishes of Freshmen and 
Sophomore on Washington's Birthday in these younger 
days recall the great battle, but reflect it only in a pale 
and ghostly light. 


A recent photographic picture of old Linonia Hall 
transmuted into a Yale recitation room will revive 
graduate memories, varying in the scale from sub- 
conscious pain to conscious pleasure. The really "old" 
graduate say antedating the sixties will recall "Lin- 
onia" and "Brothers in Unity" when they were "going" 
concerns of the most vigorous type, genuine schools of 
debate, foci of acute rivalry, reaching their "campaign" 
tentacles far and wide to grasp the incoming Freshman 
and a mighty component in both the social and mental 
life of the College. There is a younger group of grad- 
uates dating back from now for two or three decades, 
who will see that Linonia classroom only as one prosaic 
classroom of many, with not a trace of the old romance 
and fancy or of association with Yale's once famous 
"open" societies, now linked to the present time only 
by the societies' library a goodly and useful heritage. 
But there is another intermediate group of graduates 
to which the writer happens to belong. 

His lot at Yale fell in a period when Linonia and 
Brothers were in final transition downward. They still 
had their names, their poster bulletins of debate, their 
officers, their valuable and highly appraised honors in 
the prize debates of each college class and their "State- 
ments of Facts." But as weekly debating societies they 
were the merest phantoms. Once a week the ornate and 
richly furnished halls were duly lighted up. Once a 


week a president took the chair. But he faced an 
audience which, if it numbered a dozen undergraduates, 
was reckoned phenomenal and with debating energy in 
direct ratio to numbers. The two societies, as debat- 
ing organisms, were, in fact, at their death-gasp and 
only living on the breath of tradition. 

But, as stated, the two halls themselves survived, 
auditoriums of forensic luxury, a legacy from the times 
when the rival societies were opulent as well as emu- 
lative. They were of equal size, each seating com- 
fortably some hundred and fifty undergraduates. 
Their expired rivalry was revealed sharply in the varia- 
tion of internal equipment. Linonia sported red as her 
dominant color scheme; Brothers blue. Linonia shaped 
her seats in a series of circular segments; Brothers 
shaped hers in straight lines. Curtains, hangings, and 
internal fixings generally, of the societies widely 
diverged and, even, as now recalled, the order of 
exercises. Each society had two forms of internal 
ornamentation, or rather, of art, which was its special 
and particular boast. Linonia's was a brace of statues 
of classic orators, one at each end of her hall, high 
pedestaled and arched by a red overhang, the statues 
themselves some three or four feet high. They bore 
no name or legend and hence their identity was lost, 
though evidently of modern chiseling. Some said one 
was Cicero, the other Demosthenes, though which was 
which and which t'other no man could aver. Others 
affixed to them titles of the Greek dramatists ^schy- 
lus, Sophocles and the rest. All that could be said for 
certain was that both were male in gender and were not 
venerable enough for Socrates or Homer, or muscular 
enough for Hercules, or of majesty sufficient for Jupi- 
ter. Their anonymous quality served at once to fling 


athwart them a veil of seductive mystery and make 
them targets of humor. 

The art treasure of Brothers in Unity was a large 
painting in lurid tint hung high behind the president's 
chair. As now recalled across the span of years, it 
depicted General David Humphreys, a kind of tutelary 
deity and reputed founder of the society. The General 
in the painting had no isolated grandeur. He was por- 
trayed as handing to Congress the surrendered colors 
of Cornwallis or something of the kind with acces- 
sories of tents, triumphant and flapping American flags, 
prancing steeds and a background of embattled Conti- 
nentals, the whole mellowed by time into a Turnerian 
and yeasty atmosphere. It also remembered that the 
General was superlatively pot-bellied that physical 
feature being a mark for Linonia orators in the "State- 
ment of Facts," to be referred to a little later. The 
painting would probably go down before the canons 
of high art and has certainly found no place in the 
up-to-date collection of the Art School. But for 
"Brothers in Unity," it was an artistic gem of purest 
ray serene. 

As has been said heretofore, the annual "Statement 
of Facts" lingered in the writer's Campus days as a 
memento of the big old societies. Its exact origin is 
lost in the mists of Yale tradition. But by impalpable 
report, it dated back to some early time when Fresh- 
men who had "held off" and were unpledged to either 
society were hived in one of the society halls to listen 
to the rival orators of each organization in serious 
argument. Lending itself readily to burlesque and 
fun, the "Statement" thus remained as a kind of resid- 
ual garment of social bodies that had changed to 


The "Statement" was programed for about the sec- 
ond or third week after College came together in the 
autumn a time when the hostilities of Sophomore and 
Freshman expressed in terms of street-rushing, hat- 
stealing, and occasional hazing were at their apex 
and was big-bulletined on the elm trees of the Campus. 

"Statement" night at the society hall found at half- 
past seven or so the auditorium jammed with under- 
graduates of the four classes. The frontal rows of 
seats were by a kind of sardonic courtesy allotted to 
the Freshmen, who, after running a perilous gauntlet 
of Sophomore attack, had succeeded in reaching 
Alumni Hall. The Freshmen at least a good many 
of them wore overcoats and soft hats for defensive 
reasons presently to be set forth. Sophomores and 
Juniors donned the worst of their old clothes for rea- 
sons identical with those of the up-to-date rush. 

Three upperclassmen, chosen less for oratorical 
power than for bombastic satire and the gift of rhetori- 
cal "skit," spoke by turns for each society, usually in 
prepared speeches, but with no restraints on extempore 
rebuttal the speeches thus taking on somewhat the 
character of the "Fence" oration of these days, only 
with far greater license and harsher personalities. 
The keynotes were, of course, braggadocio for one's 
own society, disparagement for the other, and along 
these lines college wit had its full sweep. Did Lino- 
nia's orator boast her great men, her prize lists, her 
honors Brothers' orator turned them to ridicule, tell- 
ing how Linonia always had a jubilee if one of her men 
won a second colloquy, got a mark above zero in Eng- 
lish composition or won the place of water boy on a 
class ball nine. Did the Brothers' speaker taunt 
Linonia as a bantam rooster with crow bigger than its 


bulk Linonia's orator countered by likening his own 
society rather to the great American eagle, which, 
with one foot on the Alleghanies, the other on the 
Rocky Mountains, rested its tail on the Gulf of Mexico 
and majestically picked with its beak the icebergs of 
the Arctic Ocean. Were a college tutor or upperclass- 
man unpopular or eccentric, he was apt to be "loaded" 
on the society to which he belonged. The art works 
of each society were the open marks for infinite and 
varied jest. Linonia's two statues and her own igno- 
rance of their identity were perforated with forensic 
javelins not a few; while poor old General David 
Humphreys, perched in his Revolutionary war paint 
above the two presiding officers if the "Statement" 
happened to be in Brothers Hall and his massive 
paunch passed through a worse ordeal than British 
bullets the next Brothers' orator very likely retorting 
that in General Humphreys Yale 1771 aide de camp 
to Washington and afterwards Minister to Portugal 
Brothers at least knew her own father and was not a 
Linonia, dropped a foundling in a basket on Mother 
Yale's doorstep. A favorite but rather trite opening 
of the orators was, "Mr. President, Gentlemen, and 
Sophomores," aimed at the noisy disturbers of the 

Meanwhile, with intervals of comparative quietude 
while the orators shot off their "stunts" and meta- 
phors, the gathering revolved itself into Bedlam. 
The Freshmen, hats drawn over ears and coat collars 
raised high, listened to the "arguments" amid a fusil- 
lade from Sophomoric pea-shooters and putty tubes. 
That group of Freshmen, muffled against the bombard- 
ment, was a ludicrous sight and one unfortunately be- 
fore the days of snapshots. In the intervals between 


the speeches half a dozen scraps at once would be in 
progress between groups of Juniors and the class 
below. When the proceedings neared their close 
usually came the climax. With the concerted cry u Put 
them out," the Juniors rushed on the Sophomores. 
Seniors backed to the walls to see the fun, scared 
Freshmen massed around the president's desk and the 
body of the hall was filled with a medley of Juniors 
and Sophomores, swirling and tumbling an intensive 
"rush" in narrow limits but the mass gradually drift- 
ing toward the outlet at the head of the narrow tower 
stairway. Why in the descent, and with the many 
tumbles where a steep flight of stairs converged at the 
central shaft, no bones were broken may be accounted 
for by the fact that when Junior or Sophomore fell, he 
dropped upon a human cushion below. In this pro- 
longed Junior-Sophomore rush in close quarters, the 
rending of garments was, of course, immense. Many 
a man went in with a sack coat and emerged with one 
of the dress pattern, bifurcated at the top. 

Sometimes the rush ended with formal forensic 
"Statement of Facts." Sometimes the Juniors, after 
some final hustling with the Sophomores on the Cam- 
pus, went back to the hall and the font of ironic ora- 
tory was tapped again, subject to Sophomore diversion 
outside such as an occasional missile through a win- 
dow pane or as when, on one occasion, the Sophomores 
turned off the gas at the meter in the cellar of Alumni 
Hall and the Statement had to go on under the light 
of kerosene lamps imported from the Junior dormitory 

But there have been enough of words to show the 
character of the "Statement" in the later sixties and its 
intensive "rush" features which at some early after- 


date and, presumptively, by decree of the Faculty, gave 
it its final quietus. With it died the last memorial of 
the great open societies which for almost a century 
were among the foremost coefficients of Yale under- 
graduate life. 


The valedictory and salutatory orations, the highest 
scholastic honors of Yale's Academic Department, first 
appeared under those titles in the Yale Catalogue in 
the appointment list for the Commencement of 1856, 
and disappeared from the Commencement list of 1887. 
The two orations were last delivered at the Commence- 
ment exercises of 1894, where Frank Herbert Chase 
was valedictorian and William Edward Thorns salu- 
tatorian. For ten years the honors have been officially 
recognized only by the first two names at the head of 
the philosophical oration list. The academic Faculty 
has now voted to abolish even that distinction, and to 
print the names of the philosophical oration men 
alphabetically. Before the two ancient honors quite 
fade away on the horizon of a new Yale generation, 
their history and their remarkable personal records 
may be worth a brief review. 

The records of the two portly volumes of Mr. 
Kingsley's "Yale College" carry back the double honors 
to the year and Class of 1798, when James Burnet was 
valedictorian and Claudius Herrick was salutatorian. 
But in those days and up to 1810, under the elder 
President Dwight, the honors appear to have been 
elective and similar to the class oration of today. 
Down to about 1798, both the orations were delivered 
in Latin, the salutatory by a new fledged Bachelor of 
Arts, the valedictory by a Master of Arts. Then both 


honors went to the Bachelors and the valedictory was 
transmuted from bad Latin into better English. In 
1810, as stated, the honors appear for the first time as 
purely scholastic and were won respectively by Ethan 
Allen Andrews, later Professor of Languages in the 
University of North Carolina, and by Ebenezer Kel- 
logg, afterwards Professor of Latin and Greek in 
Williams College. The honors marking the "two best 
scholars" in each class have thus existed officially for 
at least ninety-five years, and are among the very oldest 
in Yale history. They necessarily ranked extremely 
high in the earlier and middle decades of the last cen- 
tury, when scholarship counted for so much and be- 
fore the rise of Yale literary honors, saying nothing 
of the captaincy of the football team or the nine; and 
through several decades the two honors were an all 
but sure credential for a Senior society. 

The double lists of winners of the honors absolutely 
blot out the ancient Yale caricature of a one-lunged 
and cadaverous valedictorian grinding out scholarship 
at a hand organ. In the long roll of ninety-five vale- 
dictorians by virtue of scholarship appear in the earlier 
years such names as Prof. Ralph Emerson (1811) 
of Andover; President Theodore Dwight Woolsey 
(1820); Gov. Henry B. Harrison (1846); Prof. 
Henry Hamilton Hadley (1847); Judge Dwight 
Foster (1848) ; President Franklin W. Fisk (1849) ; 
President Martin Kellogg (1850); Addison Van 
Name (1858); and, in later decades, Prof. Tracy 
Peck (1861) ; LeanderT. Chamberlain (1863) ; Dean 
Henry P. Wright (1868) ; President Arthur T. Had- 
ley (1876), and Professors Gruener (1884) and Irv- 
ing Fisher (1888) of the College. In the list of salu- 
tatorians are President F. A. P. Barnard (1828) ; the 


Rev. Joseph P. Thompson (1838); Judge William 
L. Learned (1841); Prof. James Hadley (1842); 
President Timothy Dwight (1849) J Gov. Simeon E. 
Baldwin (1861); Prof. C. H. Smith (1865); Prof. 
G. F. Moore (1872), and Ex-President William H. 
Taft (1878). 

Many stars in the constellations of well-known 
names in the two lists show how closely high Yale 
scholarship has identified itself with after success in 
teaching, in literature and in the learned professions. 
The exalted niches won by five successive valedictorians 
beginning with the Class of 1846 will be noted. But 
the summary is positively amazing: From 1810 to 
1904, inclusive, there were one hundred and ninety 
valedictorians and salutatorians. Of the one hundred 
and ninety there were seventeen who died ten years or 
less after graduation, and to these should be added 
twenty of the last ten years, who in so brief a time have 
been unable to acquire fame. 

More recent records show in the valedictory list, 
twenty-four full professors in colleges or theological 
seminaries, seven college presidents, two judges of 
high courts and twelve who have won distinction in 
other walks of life. In the list of salutatorians, seven- 
teen have become full professors, six college presi- 
dents, three judges of higher courts, one President of 
the United States and fourteen have won other high 
distinction. Of the Yale valedictorians, forty-five are 
on what may be called the life honor list and of the 
salutatorians, forty. The two lists together register 
out of one hundred and fifty-three valedictorians and 
salutatorians eighty-five, or about 56 per cent, who 
have won success and distinction, the eighty-five includ- 
ing forty-one full professors, thirteen college presi- 


dents two of them presidents of Yale, one of Colum- 
bia and one of the University of California five 
judges of high courts and twenty-six in other branches 
of life work; and if we add successful men of affairs 
whose credentials do not appear in the Triennial Cata- 
logue or in the limbo of honorary degrees, the remark- 
able ratio would be still greater. 

Hereditary scholarship comes out impressively in 
the two lists. Prof. Henry Hamilton Hadley, vale- 
dictorian of the Class of 1847, na d a father, James 
Hadley, eminent in chemistry, who first urged Asa Grey 
to botanical study; and a brother, Prof. James Hadley, 
salutatorian of 1842 and father of President Arthur 
T. Hadley, valedictorian of 1876. President Timothy 
Dwight, salutatorian of 1849, sent to Yale his son, 
Winthrop E. Dwight, who was the salutatorian of 
1893. Dean Henry P. Wright, valedictorian of 1868, 
is the father of H. B. Wright, salutatorian of 1898, 
and another son, Alfred P. Wright, died just before 
graduation after leading his Class of 1901 for four 
years. Secretary of War William H. Taft, saluta- 
torian of 1878, is a brother of Peter R. Taft, valedic- 
torian of 1878, who died in 1889. 

The highest stand won by a valedictorian during 
Yale's period of non-elective studies was 3.71 (on the 
scale of 4.00), attained by Dean Wright. The high- 
est on record (3.73) was attained during the elective 
period by William R. Begg of the Class of 1893. In 
a recent class a graduate of another college who 
entered Yale at the beginning of Senior year won a 
stand of 3.75. He, with other "philosophical ora- 
tion" men from other colleges, under a rule of which 
few Yale men are aware, had to be put in that rank 
below the "philosophical" men who had studied at Yale 


two years or more and who by that fact were eligible 
for the valedictory and salutatory. 

The formal extinction of the two ancient Yale 
honors undoubtedly has been compelled by the uncer- 
tain tests of scholarship marks in the many studies and 
groups of studies taught by different instructors under 
the elective plan. But it breaks another of the con- 
necting links between the required and elective system 
and between the old Yale scholarship and the new. 


As seen and studied in that period of its fullness and 
strength, the Spoon was a strange and fantastic insti- 
tution in a Yale otherwise at least as democratic as the 
Yale of today. It is not to be forgotten that the Spoon 
Man was but one member of a committee of nine 
the "Spoon Committee" and in the grade of popular 
honors there were thus a big Spoon and eight little 
Spoons, a tablespoon and eight teaspoons, so to speak. 

There is an impression deepening in undergraduate 
Yale and but lately strengthened by continuous lists of 
old Wooden Spoon men and younger chairmen of 
Prom committees, that the Prom chairman is the 
hereditary successor of the men who, through many 
years beginning more than half a century ago, won the 
"spoon" as a token of first place in class popularity. 
There is a dim likeness between the two honors, but 
a likeness more of form than of fact. They differ in 
such essentials as origin, in their rank tested by under- 
graduate appraisal, in functions and, above all, in the 
personal traits and methods by which the honors have 
been won. But they are enough alike to serve as a kind 
of text on which to hang some memories of the old 
Wooden Spoon in its heyday, to depict some of its 
characteristic features and to outline possibly as a 
warning some of the infirmities which led to its 
sudden death. 

Like so many other college customs, the Wooden 


Spoon struck its root in academic satire and prank. It 
goes back by tradition to a wooden spoon bestowed as 
a kind of "booby prize" on the English University 
man who ranked lowest on the honor list. The tradi- 
tion, evolving into actual history, first localizes the 
spoon at Yale more than fifty-six years ago, as the 
award to the biggest eater at the Commons the bill 
of fare shows that he must have had an intrepid 
stomach and the ceremony of presentation becomes 
a burlesque of the ancient Junior exhibition. The bur- 
lesque catches the college fancy and the prize next goes 
for a number of years to the lowest man on the list 
of Junior appointments. There is a kind of mock 
committee, sometimes elected by the class, sometimes 
self-perpetuating, dubbed Cochleaureati after much 
midnight oil dropped on the Latin dictionary. At first 
the Spoon exhibition is under the Faculty ban. It is 
held in secluded halls, collegians, and collegians only, 
admitted after identification by doorkeepers disguised 
as red men, and the inner program would hardly be 
sanctioned by parental purists. But, grown institu- 
tional at last, the "Spoon" takes on dignity. Its exhi- 
bitions emerge from cover, are held in the biggest hall 
in town, draw to themselves fashion and flounce and 
leave the scholastic Junior exhibit far out of sight; 
while the spoon itself, as a signet of the most popular 
man in his class, becomes a prize more craved than the 
Valedictory or DeForest Medal. 

Such was the institutional Wooden Spoon as the 
Freshman found it when he entered Yale in the middle 
or later sixties, and, if he came from a big "prep" 
school, he had already heard the honor named with 
bated breath. Much as the late but not mourned 
Sophomore societies reached back their conduits to the 


schools, so the Senior Class at Andover and East 
Hampton in the old days had, in youthful horoscope, 
its own future Spoon man already forecast. Nor at 
Yale did the fact that the Wooden Spoon committee 
was a sure step to a Senior society election dull under- 
graduate ambition to become "popular" and win a 
place among the nine "Cochs." But on its public and 
spectacular side, the spoon had also its lure for Yale 
aspiration. The exhibition each June, preceded by the 
ball on the night before, was the event of the college 
year, the boat race with Harvard perhaps excepted. 
Orchestral music of the first order, attractive decora- 
tions, well-disguised mysteries as to "skits" on the 
program, and the academic aroma over the whole, all 
blended to make a seat in old Music Hall now the 
Grand Opera House in Crown Street the object of 
ardent endeavor and desire. The cry for seats was 
loud and often unanswered. And even the modern 
Prom, though on much ampler scale and with more 
lavish effects in color and electric lights, does not 
totally eclipse the scene in old Music Hall auditorium 
with its "spoon girls" and escorts below and under- 
graduate stags massed deep in the standing room 
above. Student fancy had free play in the program 
of the Wooden Spoon exhibition. There were bur- 
lesque, farces, a presentation speech accented by the 
big rosewood spoon, ornately carved and silver 
labelled, a reception speech by the Spoon man 
usually penned by some better lettered classmate 
singing and always some hit at the Faculty. There 
was ever, too, the so-called "opening load," as when 
at the first rising of the curtain two of the Spoon men 
step forward, open with their spoons a stack of straw, 
and Mr. Berry, the Spoon man, steps out as the 


"strawberry." The condensed program of the last 
exhibition of all in 1870 may serve to sample many: 

Opening Load. 

Latin Salutatory. 

Presentation of Spoon. 


Wooden Spoon Song. 

College Comedy, "Who's Who?" 

Younger members of the Faculty. 

Tragedy, "Return of Ulysses."" 

Songs on the Fence. 

As now recalled, the features of this particular pro- 
gram dropped pretty flat on the audience except the 
tragedy burlesque, "Return of Ulysses," which, with 
Penelope at her modern sewing machine, touched a 
deeper nerve of fun. Nor did the average Spoon exhi- 
bition of the sixties disclose very original Yale humor 
which blossomed much more luxuriantly in the Thanks- 
giving Jubilee. Even the annual "Spoon Song," which 
was supposed to focus the spirit of the affair, seldom 
rose higher than such ant-hills of Helicon as this : 

Mem'ry shall ever, 
With sweet perfume, 
Twine in her garland 
Thy name, Oh Spoon ! 

That the Wooden Spoon committee was chosen for 
popularity rather than brains perhaps explains the 
moderate intellectual plane of the exhibitions. But 
the task of adapting breezy Yale fun to an outside 
audience must have been a pretty hard one. 

The Wooden Spoon, attractive once a year as a 
public show, in the student life at Yale developed grave 
evils. As a prize it erected a false standard of con- 


duct and of purpose. Popularity became overmuch an 
art rather than an element of character and grew into 
a policy. In the quest for Wooden Spoon honors not 
a few minds lost their scholastic and literary ideal, and 
good fellowship budded into conviviality which some- 
times ripened into vice. Before the Wooden Spoon 
ceremonies and "spreads" ended, members of the 
committee had to go deep into their own pockets and 
thus "popularity" became in a large sense a perquisite 
of wealth. But worst of all was the system which made 
of the Spoon committee honors a sort of political 
spoil to be distributed by a kind of two-headed caucus. 
The caucus was the so-called "Coalition" of the two 
leading Junior societies, which, with a bare majority 
of the class in those days and voting together by hard 
and fast rule, divided the committee between them, 
alternating the Spoon man from year to year. Thus 
a minimum vote of sixteen in a Junior society secured 
a cochship and one Spoon man was actually chosen by 
an original vote of seventeen. What impairment of 
class and society unity, what personal tricks and 
intrigues, what combinations and sub-combines, what 
excesses of college politics and what personal heart- 
burning and bitterness ensued from such a condition, 
may be inferred. It reached a climax one year when, 
in the hunt for a new credential of "popularity," the 
ballot box was stuffed at an election of class deacons. 
How such a standard of popularity, based on money, 
intrigue and the fiat of a society caucus, was for years 
accepted by many Yale Juniors of self-respect and 
character was one of the many mysteries of student 

But affronted Yale democracy rose to the emer- 
gency and killed the Wooden Spoon at what seemed 


outwardly the period of its most vigorous life. The 
Class of Seventy-One had suffered much from the self- 
ish and tricky politics bequeathed by the system and 
the example was not lost on Seventy-Two, some of 
whose members began an active crusade against the 
evil. One of their methods proved peculiarly effective 
and really killed the Spoon. Two or three good 
writers belonging to the first division of which Profes- 
sor James Hadley was division officer, asked that he 
give out as a composition subject in the subdivision the 
question of the abolition of the Wooden Spoon. The 
professor hesitated, expressed fear that the subject 
would be either too controversial or too flippant, but 
at last consented. He was doubtless amazed, as were 
others, when on ''composition day" almost the whole 
class poured into the room and overflowed into the 
entry to hear half a dozen writers by agreement attack 
the Spoon system without gloves. One or two other 
divisions followed suit and class sentiment, sustained 
by one or two timely editorials in the Yale Courant, 
set in with deadly force against the anomalies of the 
Spoon and a little later a mass meeting of the class 
voted it down and out with practical unanimity. 

So, after almost a quarter of a century of erratic 
life, perished the Wooden Spoon, just as its pernicious 
hold seemed strongest useful, as a warning, if for 
nothing else, against meretricious standards of Yale 
popularity and useful, also, as an attest that Yale 
democracy has only to rouse itself as in the case of 
the Sophomore societies to make short work of mis- 
chiefs of the kind should they recur. 

Possibly a few old graduates of the writer's genera- 
tion mourn its death. Most of them will say with the 
statesman who, when asked whether he would attend 


a bad man's funeral, replied: "No. But I approve of 
it." To assail the ancient Spoon now may seem like 
punishment after death, yet it is not amiss as a 
reminder that in one feature, at least, the up-to-date 
Yale is better than the Yale of the academic fathers. 


For obvious reasons not much has gone into print 
of the old doings of the Yale Senior societies. So 
what one seeks of their antique customs must be taken 
not from the published word but from the lips and 
memories of old graduates who, some of them, recall 
the Yale happenings of a half-century or more ago. 
They tell us how the Senior societies, like the others 
at Yale, dead or alive, had to have small beginnings; 
how they were the original conception of two or three 
men who formed the nucleus around which the society's 
group had to be built up ; and how necessarily for some 
years elections were informal and desirable men had 
to be seen and persuaded days in advance. One old 
custom of the very earliest days of the Senior societies 
appears to be a matter of clear record. After the 
society lists had been made, a whole night was spent 
in the election. And next morning the societies 
marched from their halls in a body to Chapel, partly 
as a bit of impressionism, partly as a kind of theoreti- 
cal covering of their work by a quasi-religious function. 

There was a later time when the election appears to 
have been a midnight ceremony. Then the whole 
membership of a society at the witching hour marched 
to the room of the elected one with a frontal bull's- 
eye lantern, routing him, if necessary, out of bed, to 
proffer the election and congratulations a ceremony 
in a milder way and a later hour antedating the elec- 


tions of the old Sophomore societies of the sixties and 
Calcium Night. Followed next an earlier hour and a 
subdivision of the elective function. Instead of mid- 
night was a period of from eight to ten o'clock on a 
Thursday night of mid-May; and instead of the whole 
society was either a single representative or a group 
of two or three bearing a big society symbol. These 
sought the elected Junior at his room where he was 
pretty sure to be found and to respond affirmatively to 
the solemn "Do you accept?" formula. If he hap- 
pened to be away, the offer was quietly made next day 
and the list filled up. 

In those days, the old Campus, with the thick elms 
hiding the starlight was o' nights, save in lunar full- 
ness, a region of Cimmerian gloom. There was no 
Donnelly, of rotundity and gift of persuasive rhetoric, 
to conservate order; no electric or other lights to fling 
their detective rays on the individual disturber of the 
peace; and the whole scenario of the Campus after 
eight o'clock at night was of a nature to stimulate 
mischief, prankery and, betimes, violence. The mys- 
ticism of the elections was, in itself, a temptation to the 
mischievous undergraduate, especially to those mem- 
bers of the Senior Class who were non-society men. 
Hence what may be called by backward reversion 
"Tap Night" grew progressively to a climax unduly 
boisterous. Entries of the Old Brick Row were 
obstructed in various ways to prevent the access or 
egress of the elective messengers; traps were set for 
them in the form of tripping ropes; a prospective and 
"sure" candidate for the honor might be tied or locked 
in his room; and outside on the Campus the messen- 
gers were hustled, rushed, sometimes their society 
insignia stolen and, under most favored conditions, 


they must run a gauntlet of verbal fire ranging from 
joke down to individual shafts not always compli- 

Out of this waxing nocturnal riotousness, incurring 
at the last Faculty disapproval, came sometime in the 
later seventies the "Tap Day" of up-to-date, fixed by 
society agreement, substantially unchanged since it 
began and which more than three decades have now 
made institutional. 1 

Senior Society elections in May, 1914, were for the first 
time conducted away from the Old Campus, and in Berkeley Oval, 
where the majority of the Juniors resided. 



"Not wishing, even under the most superlative temp- 
tation, to interrupt the gentlemen in their studies, I beg 
to ask whether they are not moved to purchase a 
package of my old-fashioned, home-made molasses 
candy." This rigmarole, familiar to every graduate 
of Yale since the later sixties, will serve, without his 
portraiture, to recall "George Joseph Hannibal, L. W. 
Silliman, Esquire" (with a comma after the Hannibal) . 
He was, in astronomical lore, the Alpha in a galaxy of 
Yale's original Campus characters, in which Candy 
Sam, Daniel Pratt, Jackson and Fineday have twinkled 
as minor stars; and, if only to do proper respect to the 
memory of Hannibal, he was also the "Omega," as 
none is left now to take the place of the venerable, 
garrulous and innocent-faced rascal whose wares, while 
they pulled on the heart and purse strings of genera- 
tions of Yale men, at the same time loosened their 
teeth fillings. 

Moreover, sad to add, in these days of Campus 
exclusion these old characters have left behind not only 
no successors but no Campus soil or environment in 
which to breed them. 

Hannibal's life beyond the Campus contains deep 
gaps of mystery, which he was always primed to fill 
at the expense of his reputation for truthfulness. His 
birthplace and even his age are apocryphal this 


partly because of that imaginative vein in which, as 
part of his stock in trade, he veiled his antecedents. 
His birthplace he would fix now in darkest Africa, 
now on Hillhouse Avenue; and his age roughly 
guessed by sober biographers at somewhere between 
70 and 80 he himself would carry back betimes to 
ancient Carthage and the Alpine transit of his great 
namesake, or, even more ambiguously, to the date of 
the first thunderstorm in Connecticut. "Sah," said 
Hannibal once in this connection to an inquiring stu- 
dent, "I am getting so old that I can remember when 
East Rock, sah, was a mere pebble." 

What is known of him with fair biographic certi- 
tude is that he was born in New Haven; that he served 
various people in the Civil War, but not with brilliant 
distinction; and that, after work in a local candy fac- 
tory, he graduated from it into that cognate field of 
saccharine culture at Yale in which, though dark him- 
self, he was destined to shine. It is also well certified 
that he was a married man, that his wife left him 
twenty years ago and nothing else and that two 
daughters survived him. 

The step from the prose to the poetry of Hannibal's 
personality leads to a more subtle analysis of character. 
Freshmen sized him up as a freak and now and then 
there was an older undergraduate who took the Han- 
nibal epidermis for deeper tissue. Those who knew 
him longer and better saw the actor; and with these the 
satiric smile, which now and then broke his crust of 
gravity, betrayed the underlying man of trade and of 
profit to be coined by eccentricity. But his candy was 
the genuine goods; his humor usually inexpensive and 
harmless; he gave a certain unique zest to the life of 
the Campus and of the old Fence; and, as one who 




knew the value of Attic salt in candy, he reached the 
dignity of inventor if not of political economist. Han- 
nibal had a graceful, somewhat spare, but well-knit 
figure of about the middle size; features which, save 
for color, gave small hint of the African race type ; and 
a grave, not to say saturnine, expression that, by con- 
trast, accented his polysyllabic humor and seemed like 
a kind of grotesque mask hiding the features of a 
smiling face. As a trick of his trade his rotund phras- 
ing was as much in manner as in matter. 

Hannibal's skits and jokes, not practiced much in 
later life when old age had chilled his powers, were 
no small factor in the intense dormitory life of the 
later Brick Row period, more lately transferred almost 
exclusively to the days of the big baseball and football 
games at the Field. His magnum opus, used discreetly 
for fear of the Faculty ban, was "throwing a fit," a 
trick in whose rigors and convulsions, in perfect imi- 
tation of a genuine seizure, he was past master. His 
fits had their fixed tariff schedule. For a fit common- 
place and ordinary the rate was twenty-five cents. For 
an epileptic seizure "with foam at the mouth" as a 
special frill, the schedule price rose to half a dollar. 
Now and then Hannibal sold a higher class of goods 
from his "fit" counter. If conditions were safe the 
Sophomores, or eke upperclassmen, would for seventy- 
five cents during the first college term hire him to fling 
his fit while selling candy in the room of a couple of 
green Freshmen whose quick emergence and dash for 
the nearest doctor and later payment of the medical 
fee gave tang to the successful deceit. 

"My dear little son Nicodemus, brother of Ananias," 
was a fancy-child of Hannibal in whom centered not a 
few of his lurid fictions. In one of the best of them 


he used to tell how Mrs. Hannibal had accidentally 
shut little Nicodemus in the kitchen oven; how the odor 
of the baking Nicodemus disclosed the calamity; how 
Mrs. Hannibal rescued the child "nicely browned and 
looking more like his father than ever" ; and how the 
anguished sire rushed down to Savin Rock to commit 
suicide in the sad waves only to find that he had failed 
to consult the almanac, that the Savin Rock tides were 
out and that the journey over the sands toward Long 
Island was sure to exhaust him before he reached the 
water's edge. Those who have tried bathing at Savin 
Rock at low tide will relish the metaphor. It was 
after a similar escapade of the fictitious Nicodemus 
that Hannibal dashed to the Tin Bridge over Mill 
River with suicidal aim but refused to jump when he 
saw that stream's dirty waters. 

Here is one of his sample monologues of trade anent 
the fabled Nicodemus: 

"Gentlemen, not wishing in any degree to invade the 
privacy of your studious seclusion, may I beseech you 
to purchase a package of my old-fashioned, oriental 
saccharine lemon drops, and relieve a starving house- 
hold in which my son Nicodemus is eating the putty 
from the window panes." 

By a series of tricky bets, for small sums with the 
Freshmen as chief victims, Hannibal eked out his 
income from the candy trade. In the later sixties and 
early seventies, the old-time sulphur matches were still 
in vogue. "Gentlemen, you will observe this match," 
Hannibal would say. "Will, you collectively hazard a 
quarter against my individual twenty-five cents that I 
cannot extinguish and light it four successive times?" 
On the formula of temptation the bet was accepted, 
and Hannibal by a quick motion of the forefinger did 


the extinguishing act, leaving enough sulphur for a 
series of relights. Another bet based on his power of 
returning a fifty-cent piece for a quarter with the 
quarter never out of sight until the fifty-cent piece 
passed was but a clever bit of palming a coin. More 
original was Hannibal's trick of asking a guess of the 
middle letter of the alphabet, drawing the laugh when 
he followed the guesses with the remark, u ln my igno- 
rance, there being twenty-six letters in the alphabet, 
may I seek knowledge and ask where is located the 
middle letter of twenty-six?" 

Hannibal was ambidextrous and, with limitations, 
could write and draw rough portraits with each hand 
simultaneously. But, as a boxer, he had overmuch 
academic renown in an exercise tested in fact only 
on novices. He was agile, quick and catlike in fisticuffs; 
but it is pretty well certified that efforts were vain to 
induce him to meet even amateur boxers of skill. As a 
picturesque and familiar figure of the Campus he was 
in demand on such occasions as old Thanksgiving Jubi- 
lees and when Yale men, graduate or undergraduate, 
foregathered for fun on one occasion even figuring in 
a Yale burlesque drama in New York. A brief Latin 
oration which he had memorized for such jollities 
followed by cries of "translate," "translate" from his 
audience would bring forth some such addendum as 
this: "Not wishing to reflect on the erudition of the 
gentlemen, I have contributed a dime to supply each of 
you with a pony." A host of old graduates knew 
Hannibal and Hannibal knew them; and not without 
crafty hope of a sevenfold return would he now and 
then present an alumnus with a free candy package 
"in kindly and sympathetic remembrance of the days 
when we were brothers at old Yale." In the final 


summary of character, Hannibal, with his craft and 
motive of trade veining his artificial eccentricity, was 
not a candidate for sainthood. But his skits, his 
jokes, his polysyllabic gifts and all-round versatility of 
action and utterance give him an enduring place in the 
memories of Campus, dormitory and the Fence. 

"Candy Sam," whose real name was Theodore Fer- 
ris and whose secondary title was, doubtless, of student 
extraction, partly antedated Hannibal in time and went 
him one better in color. He was absolutely blind, but 
the infirmity with its "pull" on undergraduate sym- 
pathy had its trademark value. Sometimes, led by 
Mrs. Candy Sam, he would make a tour of the Brick 
Row; but, in general, as the undergraduate phrased it, 
he was "holding up" the Lyceum and Athenaeum, at the 
twin entrances of which he became an institutional and 
statuesque figure. His special gift was making change 
in days before specie payments had superseded frac- 
tional paper currency. Fifty-cent, twenty-five-cent, ten- 
cent and five-cent notes he detected unerringly by the 
"feel"; and there was a tradition that he could even 
feel out the occasional counterfeit note. Sam was a 
bit choleric and with defective sense of humor; and he 
never forgave the Yale Courant of the time for ad- 
mitting to its columns a playful skit alleging his arrest 
for peeping into dormitory windows o' nights. He was 
a faithful churchman of the orthodox creed while his 
rival, Hannibal, was a proclaimed scoffer; and one of 
the undergraduate diversions of the period was to bring 
the two together in theological polemics not of the 
Divinity School standard. It was at the end of one of 
these discussions on Jonah and the whale that Sam got 
in one of his few home thrusts. "Hannibal," quoth he, 
"you wouldn't 'a' suited dat whale at all like Jonah. 

> > 1 > 

I , ' 



Soon as de fish felt you goin' down he'd 'a' coughed 
you up." Sam passed away in obscurity and, so far 
as can be discovered, has not been embalmed in college 

A contemporary of Sam was General Daniel Pratt, 
G. A. T., the capitals annexed standing for his self- 
made honorary degree of Great American Traveler. 
He was a kind of intellectual tramp, a harmless freak 
who claimed perpetual candidacy for the presidency of 
the United States and whose name supplied joke or 
metaphor for many an American journalist of his time. 
General Pratt visited Yale periodically twice a year for 
a few days each in October and June, coming from 
nobody knew where. "From depths he came and into 
darkness passed"; but he was always the same un- 
changed Daniel Pratt in old-fashioned, faded garb, 
dingy stove-pipe hat, thin figure and aquiline face 
and charged up to the full with original eloquence and 
poetry the latter on broadsides which he sold to the 
undergraduates. By some he was sized up as a crafty 
tramp who, like Hannibal, adopted personal oddity as 
a profitable trademark; by others, and probably more 
justly, he was classed as mildly non compos. In either 
character he was a human curio, beguiling many a stu- 
dent hour with his off-hand oratory and rhymed 
rather than poetical recitative. The supreme flight 
of Daniel's muse was in his so-called "chain-lightning" 
poem ending with the lines : 

When Daniel Pratt leaps high in air 
And comes down fair and square 
In the President's chair. 

Of course, at the end of oration and poem, alike, 
Daniel's seedy hat went round; and if it came back 


barren or nearly so, it was one of the best parts of the 
play which followed when the Perpetual Candidate in 
anger probably simulated rebuked "the students of 
a great college who could buy such jewels of speech 
with four cents, a cigar stump and peanut shucks." It 
is related that a dozen smokers of the Class of '71 once 
induced Daniel to start his pet oration in a South Col- 
lege room which presently filled with the rich gloom 
of the weed. The orator stopped his speech midway. 
"Gentlemen," said he, "your speaker isn't a ham." 

In that consulship of Plancus were other singular 
Campus figures. There was Fineday, the flashy old 
clo'man, of obvious Jewish breed, whose set formula, 
"Fine day, come and have a bottle of wine," expressed 
a sham hospitality as high as his prices were low. 
More attractive was Jackson, the chimney sweep, 
superlatively African in type, whose vocation in the 
early seventies was in its sunset stage. Jackson, after- 
wards promoted to be Farnam Hall sweep, was a 
jocund and happy specimen of his race, of mighty 
frame and stature and at his best physical glow when, 
in bearskin cap and whirling his baton, he headed as 
drum major the local colored brass band. But his 
clearest title to fame was his "chimney sweep" cry, 
rendered as follows : 

Oh, I'm here today, I'm gone tomorrow, 
Chimbley Sweep O, Chimbley Sweep O, 

Oh! Oh!! Oh!!! Oh!!!! 
Chimbley Sweep O, Chimbley Sweep O, 

Oh! Oh!! Oh!!! Oh!!!! 

The whole sung in a grand falsetto voice, of vast 
carrying power, rising and falling in crescendo and 
diminuendo, and reverberating from East to West 


Rocks. Jackson's song, as now recalled, was in de- 
mand for some years at class day exercises on the 
Campus and sometimes at class reunions. But he was 
an old man when his voice first leaped into academic 
vogue and he early passed to the shades, where Han- 
nibal, premier of Yale's old whimsical Campus char- 
acters, has now joined him, to swap memories of the 
long ago. 




That somber description of the Yale classroom in 
the late thirties which Donald G. Mitchell gives in 
his "Dream Life" the classroom of murkiness, smells 
and stuffy atmosphere had not, seemingly, much 
changed in the writer's undergraduate day of the six- 
ties. The recitation rooms in fact, at least many of 
them, were identical with those of a quarter-century 
before. Imitating the old Latin motto, they had 
changed minds, not their skyline. There were the 
same hard seats; the same stiff backs, infused with 
vertebral pains; a dim, dank atmosphere especially 
o' winters save when now and then the heater some- 
where below got on a Saharic spree and broke the fog. 
Of the decorative and aesthetic quality there was not 
a chemical trace, and the mournful tint of the long 
blackboards did but accent the encircling gloom of the 
man who didn't know his lesson and was taking his 
chance of not being called up. In the way of scholastic 
facilities even the wooden side-pad was a later innova- 
tion which, by common repute, the austere Faculty of 
the time deemed too radical to be allowed without 
serious discussion. Except two "overflow" class- 
rooms in the ancient Cabinet building standing just 
north of the present Vanderbilt Hall all the recita- 
tion rooms were in the Athenaeum and Lyceum. The 
Freshmen recited in the Athenaeum, the Sophomores 
in the Lyceum and only South Middle stood between. 


Each room accommodated about thirty students, the 
normal "division" of the time only the so-called 
"President's lecture room" in the rear of the Lyceum 
could hold half a class easily and a whole class as a 

Recitations were, of course, the standing order of 
the first two years. Later came a few lectures in his- 
tory and in philosophy and scattered lectures in physics, 
in anatomy at the medical school in botany, chem- 
istry and geology. The lectures in history and philoso- 
phy called for examinations; the others did not, this 
being almost the sole concession to leniency of the 
Spartan Faculty of the period. 

It was an academic epoch when the highly individ- 
ualized professor of the old school had not been filed 
down by modern forces and when oddities of habit or 
character were common indeed, the strongest of the 
Yale teachers were also the most picturesque. There 
was Professor H. A. Newton, slender, poetic in face, 
mathematical devotee, who, when once started on a 
demonstration of his own, would cover the whole 
blackboard with his transcendental curves. Starting 
with a curve beginning this side of infinity, he would 
unconsciously occupy the whole recitation hour, at last 
announcing triumphantly to the division, "and so you 
see the curve returns from the other side of infinity." 
It was Newton who adopted once a plan of marking 
bad recitations in negative qualities. "What is my 
stand?" asked of him R., a low scholar of a class 
of the later sixties. "Minus fifty-seven hundredths," 
answered the professor. "Well, Professor Newton," 
said R., "I'm going to study mighty hard the rest of 
this term and try to raise my stand to zero." 

The title "heavenly twins," given by a witty under- 


graduate of the early seventies to Professors Hubert 
A. Newton and Elias Loomis, had in it the elements of 
a misnomer. For "Newt," so called for short, lov- 
ingly, was professor of mathematics, not of astronomy, 
and "Loom" was graduated twenty years before his 
colleague, who had taken up astronomy as a kind of 
side study and mathematical diversion. Yet both by 
congruity of astronomical taste and individual pecu- 
liarities were bracketed naturally together in the under- 
graduate mind and nomenclature. To Newton belongs 
perhaps the most striking astronomical discovery of 
his time- that the comet of 1866 and the November 
meteors have nearly coincident orbits and are inti- 
mately related. Not so well known, indeed, almost 
obscured by time, is the fact that Professor Newton, 
not long before his death, using naked eye observations 
entirely, fixed with definiteness the fall of a large 
meteor to a very small area in western Connecticut. 
To him and to Loomis have hung a long roll of col- 
lege jokes which unto this day the grey-haired alumnus 
repeats with zest. Both were professors of the old 
school in times when astronomy filled a large arc in 
the college curriculum. The study may sink below the 
horizon of the elective system now, but in the pleasant 
memories of the old grad "Newt" and "Loom" re- 
main still vividly above it. 

The old classroom was naturally the scene of under- 
graduate prankeries. Woe to the young tutor who 
had not the art or presence to maintain discipline, who 
had not sized up the powers of his marking book or 
whose near-sightedness gave scope for fun or dis- 
order on the back benches. But the mischief was apt 
to be commonplace and lacking the artistic quality to 
be found outdoors and on the Campus. One of the 


exceptions to the rule of mediocrity was when an under- 
graduate of the sixties secured a turtle, pasted a news- 
paper on the creature's back and turned the combina- 
tion loose during recitation in the Sophomore Latin 
room with telling results. Classroom trouble usually 
came from outside and was at its worst during the 
Sophomore-Freshman hostilities of late autumn and 
early winter, when the older and bolder class played 
their pranks through the Freshman classroom windows 
of the Athenaeum. An incident of attested record is 
the trick of a Sophomore, leader in Freshman persecu- 
tion, who thought his class was "letting up" on the 
Freshmen too early or too much. He watched his 
chance and in the winter gloaming drove three snow- 
balls in succession through the window panes of a 
reciting division of his own classmates. The "insult" 
was, of course, laid to the Freshmen and the Sopho- 
more lukewarmness for a season dispelled. 

But those days of the old classroom asperities are 
now, relatively speaking, tales of the past. The 
Faculty are not ranked as arch-foemen of the under- 
graduate. Comparatively the mischiefs of classroom 
and Campus are extinct. Gentler manners have come 
in and the old academic roughness has gone out. The 
Brick Row period had certain virtues of its own. But 
it also had its sins whose loss is Yale's gain. 

There were other professors of wit and wisdom as 
well as of peculiarities Northrop, now head of Min- 
nesota University, 1 whose crisp comments like "if so 
why not" at the end of a stumbling recitation stirred 
the division to glee; and Packard, fine instructor but 

1 Dr. Northrop was succeeded as president of the University of 
Minnesota by Dr. George E. Vincent, '85, who was inaugurated 
October 17, 1911. 


conscientiously severe, whose attitude was shown when 
a student arrested for snowballing in Chapel Street 
reported to him, after three absences at the City Court, 
his acquittal. "Ah," said the professor, "then they 
did not succeed in fixing it upon you." The incident 
suggests what was the general fact, that, far more than 
now, the relation of student to Faculty was one of 
armed neutrality, if not positive hostility. The Fac- 
ulty was the foe in authority, the student the target of 
suspicion with the presumption always against him. 
And of course, any classroom or text-book hit at the 
powers as when, for an example, Quintilian in his 
elements of oratory says in his Latin, "This faculty 
is composed of the simplest material" brought out its 
burst of applause with punitive sequels in "marks." 

In those days, forty years ago, we had in the College 
such men of striking personality as Hadley, Porter, 
Newton, Thacher, Northrop and Loomis, each sui 
generis. Now of all the instructors whom the writer 
met then on Campus and in classroom not one remains. 
Some few are on the emeritus list; most of them on that 
longer list starred in the Triennial Catalogue. 

Of them all perhaps the figure which rises most 
prominently in mind is Professor James Hadley, the 
senior professor in Greek, with his classic and refined 
face, his measured and soft intonation, his perfect 
phrasing of words and sentences. Hadley was a master 
scholar in other branches than Greek. It used to 
be told of him that when he took the Yale Greek 
professorship the best mathematician in the country 
was lost. His written English was of wondrous purity. 
Of a small volume of essays published in later life it 
was said that the Harpers or it might have been 
some other publishing house held for a long time the 


manuscript as a perfect example of copy so clear and 
beautiful was it in its penmanship, so exact in punctua- 
tion and without an erasure or interline from beginning 
to end. 

Of Hadley there come, in lighter mood, three remi- 
niscences. One was when he rebuked effectively spitting 
in the classroom by the remark, "Gentlemen, those of 
you who expectorate in this room need not expect 
to rate high in the class." Another was the couplet, 
which a poor scholar whom Hadley had let through 
penned on a leaflet and passed round the division room : 

Oh, had Had. had a heart of stone 
How illy-had I fared. 

And another episode when the place of the easy-going 
President Porter for a single recitation in metaphysics 
was taken by Professor Hadley. How systematically 
did he "flunk" us or, rather, did we flunk ourselves! 
Then Professor Hadley took up the lesson paragraph 
by paragraph, analyzed it clearly here and there 
dissenting from the views of President Porter, author 
of the book and gave us a new and really informative 
metaphysical perspective. 

Speaking of President Porter, this incident is re- 
called of an alumni meting. He had introduced as 
speaker the famous William M. Evarts, who had been 
in a President's cabinet and a United States Senator 
from New York State. As a "gag" on Porter, Evarts 
told this story: 

"I was going down the Mississippi with a friend on a 
steamboat. Near Natchez we came abreast of a thin 
mud bank where swallows had made their nesting 
holes. On the sharp upper edge of the bank appeared 
sections of the old holes worn away in varying degrees 


of arc. Said my friend, 'Evarts, do you see the mud 
of that hole all but worn away? Take it all away and 
leave the hole.' That's metaphysics." 

President Porter's gentle laxity in recitation will be 
remembered by many a graduate "who now parts his 
hair with a towel." It was perhaps mere tradition that 
the president never read his examination papers and 
took the term stand for his final marks. To a student 
who went to him with eighty disciplinary marks where 
usually forty-eight spelled suspension, Porter said: 
"I'll take off thirty if you'll account for the other 
three." The inauguration of President-elect Porter 
was a gala day and night in the autumn of 1871 
when the Senior Class in torchlight procession visited 
him at his Hillhouse Avenue home headed by the vale- 
dictorian with a beer barrel on a pole and labelled 
"Porter," the president in his speech expressing the 
hope that the cask was filled only with metaphysical 

It was at the close of his Junior year that a member 
of the Class of '72 crossed Chapel Street one day to 
market his disused text-books with George Hoadley, 
who blended sale of second-hand college literature 
with phantom lunches. The budding Senior having 
sold his wares at prices as spectral as the lunches, 
happened by merest accident to lay hand on a volume 
on the counter which proved to be a text-book of Senior 
year edited by Professor u Tommy" Thacher and used 
by him in first term. Its text was a long and legal 
oration by some old Roman may be Cicero, but not 
now recalled. But, opened, its pages were a wonder. 
Its former owner with a pen sharp as a needle and 
with penwork fine and clear as agate type had inter- 
lined the whole translation from "Tommy's" own 


lips, and on the margin the answer to every one of his 
classroom questions was written out. So fine and deli- 
cate was the editing that three feet away the page 
became a mere foggy blur, but merging into absolute 
distinctness at normal reading distance. It was an 
"Oration" stand at its lowest certified without study. 
That the unique work was bought in a twinkling price 
thirty-five cents and that it served its buyer a mod- 
erate scholar well next term follows logically. Then 
came the sequel. He sold it for five dollars to a Junior, 
a dripping from the class above and still in acute class- 
room perils. At the end of the next Senior first term 
"Tommy" addressed his division half frantically thus: 
"Gentlemen, this is the poorest fourth division that I 
have ever taught in Yale College. But among you, I'm 
glad to say, is one very poor scholar in general but 
who with me has kept a First Division stand." It 
was the man who owned the text-book aforesaid, which 
afterward, by repute, went down at a mighty price 
through several successive college generations. 

On a crowd of Sophomores waiting at the old Fence 
to waylay Freshmen, "Tommy" charged down with the 
words, "You're a disorderly gathering! Go asunder! ! 
Go asunder!!!" afterwards paraphrased into "Go to 
thunder!" He was not much of a classroom humorist 
but had to laugh with the rest of us one day when one 
of the dunces of the class in Latin Comp., after guess- 
ing several times at the needed form of the verb 
ignoro ) hit on the right one, ignora mus. Professor 
Thacher was a pretty strict disciplinarian, but guide 
and friend to many a student in unmerited trouble. 

The Grand Old Man of the old Faculty, his sun rose 
and set in his Yale loyalties. In the President's lecture 
room one of the long seats creaked resonantly at one 


end when a Senior student's foot pressed it at the 
other, thus hiding the mischief-maker. "Stop that!" 
thundered u Tommy" one day when the noise had per- 
sisted for two or three minutes. The creaking stopped 
but presently began again. "I said 'stop' and that 
noise stopped," thundered Tommy again. "It proves 
deliberation and not accident. The man who is doing 
that is unworthy to be a Senior in Yale College" 
illustrating how unworthiness for Yale was Tommy's 
supreme anathema. The Faculty once appointed 
Professor Thacher, who was senior professor in Latin, 
to teach political economy for one term. His exordium 
to his division ran thus: "Young gentlemen, I am a 
professor of Latin. The Faculty in an emergency 
has asked me to teach political economy. I ask your 



The name of Professor Elias Loomis is one to be 
honored by Yale men not merely for his record of 
personal service in the classroom through more than 
a third of a century but for his great benefactions 
directly and indirectly to the University. His memory 
is now to be perpetuated urban-wise through all time 
by the title, "Loomis Place" given by the Corporation 
to the new street which is to be cut through the 
University grounds. The new memorial is a fit text 
upon which to hang some personal recollections of a 
Yale teacher distinctively of the "old school" type but 
whose unique traits made him almost a type by himself 
among a group of colleagues in the Faculty not lacking 
in old-fashioned picturesqueness. 

Turning briefly to the biography of "Loom," as he 
was affectionately desyllabilized by the undergraduates 
of his time, one finds that he was the son of a clergy- 
man and born at Wellington, Conn., in 1811. He had 
a brilliant scholastic boyhood, was reading Greek as 
a youngster and passed the examinations for Yale at 
fourteen years of age, though not entering until a year 
older, and graduating in the Class of 1830. The 
Commencement program of the Class of 1830 shows 
that Loomis had an oration on "The Influence of 
Emulation on the Progress of Mental Improvement" 
a prolix theme that satirizes his laconic habit of speech. 
Followed next a year of teaching in Baltimore, then 



a year in Andover Theological Seminary and thus 
those who remember "Loom" have a humorous vision 
of what he might have been as a preacher perhaps 
a foreign missionary. But he gave up the clerical 
intent and in 1832 came to Yale as tutor. The custom 
of the Yale Faculty in those days, as later, was to "plug 
in" a tutorial novice into any vacant classroom chair 
indeed, the dictum seemed to prevail that the stronger 
a young teacher had been in mathematics, the wiser 
for him and his pupils it would be that he should teach 
Latin or Greek. At any rate, Loomis for a time was 
"plugged" tutorially into the classics. And again, we 
have a somewhat comic thought of the future great 
mathematician dipping out to callow collegians the 
waters of the Pierian spring. But we have a test of 
his success as tutor in the words of Chief Justice Waite, 
of the United States Supreme Court, "If I have been 
successful in life, I owe that success to the influence of 
Tutor Loomis more than to any other cause whatever." 
Appointed professor of Mathematics and Natural 
Philosophy at Western Reserve College in 1836 he 
took the chair after a year of study in Paris. But the 
same year, 1837, with its financial stress, left the col- 
lege in hardship, unable to pay its instructors and, in 
Loomis' written words, "without enough money in the 
treasury to take me out of the state." Salaries had 
for a time to be paid in farm produce. Yet during his 
seven years at Western Reserve one obtains glimpses 
of the unique "Loom" of after years at Yale. He 
built a campus fence a third of a mile long on which 
he spent many hours to establish an exact north and 
south line. More apocryphal is a tale how a mighty 
cyclone passed over the college and drove a dead hen 
into a sandbank an indefinite number of feet; and how 


Loomis, with a dead chicken fired from a field-piece, 
repeated nature's experiment to determine accurately 
the velocity of the cyclonic blast. 

Professor Loomis next (1844) began a service of 
sixteen years in the chair of Mathematics and Natural 
Philosophy in the University of New York a service 
marked by the beginnings of the series of text-books 
on mathematics and astronomy. First and last, it is 
said, six hundred thousand of them were sold. They 
were the major sources of the estate which finally came 
to Yale. In 1860 Yale called him to succeed Professor 
Olmsted and with the opening of his Yale professor- 
ship memory flies back to the personal Loomis whom 
the mediaeval Yale undergraduate knew. It was a 
singular figure even viewed visually and objectively, 
marked by those same mathematical exactitudes that 
ran through his text-books. His frame was slight and 
moved along the New Haven streets and Campus walks 
with an invariable slow gait. The college boys used to 
contend that if the lengths of his stride from morn to 
nightfall could be measured they would not be found to 
deviate by the infinitesimal fraction of a millimeter. 
His garb hardly varied more. There was the inevi- 
table high hat, the close-fitting black coat half between 
frock and cutaway the familiar old-fashioned linen 
stock all flawlessly neat, yet a garb which, by its chal- 
lenge to modern change of fashion, conveyed an idea 
and general impression of seediness. But the outer 
man of cloth was secondary to facial contours, not 
much modified by the spectacled semi-ellipses one for 
long, one for short sight. It was the face that spoke 
the man rigid, unemotional, set in straight lines, 
always looking right ahead. Sometimes he smiled, but 
it was a closing and mathematical extension of lips 


rather than parting of them. When at vast intervals 
and under the strain of some uncommon press of humor 
the lips of Professor Loomis actually parted, it was 
reckoned the equivalent of another man's uproarious 
laughter. It is doubtful whether living man, at least 
in Yale days, heard Professor Loomis laugh. As 
was his face so were his general habitudes. He was 
an embodiment of the precisions as inflexible and even 
as a mathematical scale, his crisp, brief speech tallying 
with his other temperamental exactitudes. And there 
was a quality of the Loomis voice, high pitched and 
staccato, that makes it quite impossible by the written 
word to express the man especially to a younger col- 
lege generation that knew him not. But his grey-haired 
pupils of the Senior and Junior classes who sat before 
him on the adamantine college benches will remember. 
There are thronging memories of funny incident 
and episode of the "Loom" classroom. It was a class- 
mate, whom we will call Jim Sullivan, who had made 
cribbing a fine art. He seemed to have a kind of tele- 
scopic eye and when on his feet in recitation with only 
the slightest divergence of glance downward he could 
read an astronomical text-book on the floor espe- 
cially as that particular text-book, Loomis' own, was 
printed in large and clear type. But this Napoleonic 
figure in cribbing met his Waterloo at his first recita- 
tion in the Loomis classroom. "Sullivan!" called 
Loomis, and Sullivan rose confident of a cribbed 
"rush." "Book shows, that will do," said the Pro- 
fessor, and Sullivan sank down into a "flunk." Then 
there was that other classmate, Sweeney, a good nat- 
ural scholar but infirm and reckless in preparing his 
task. The main subject of the morning's lesson was 
the use of the big celestial and terrestrial globes and 


Sweeney was called up to manipulate the spheres and 
find in Canton, China, the time corresponding to that 
on his watch in New Haven. Sweeney was working on 
the subject and watching his time while Loomis' back 
was turned made through the door what, in the official 
college vernacular of the day, was termed an "egress," 
thinking the professor would forget. Loomis said 
nothing but lay low and at the opening of the next 
recitation sent Sweeney to the globes with the same 
or similar question. Sweeney, deeming it but a coin- 
cidence, essayed the same trick again. But just as he 
was silently slipping through the door the professor 
called, "Sweeney, you'll be called on the same subject 
tomorrow." Sweeney crammed the subject and on the 
morrow got there; and "Loom" never reported the 
matter to the Faculty. 

In the lecture room his talks on physics were incisive 
and condensed and his experiments worked out in ad- 
vance with a care which rarely left room for imperfec- 
tion, much less for failure, but usually prefaced with 
the saving remark: "The nature of the phenomenon 
I conceive to be this." To him and to another pro- 
fessor of chemistry is attributed the comment after 
the failure of an experiment: "Experiment fails, prin- 
ciple remains." It was in a lecture before a division 
of the writer's class in the old building that stood just 
to the west of the present Connecticut Hall that the 
professor scored one of his biggest experimental tri- 
umphs. He was secretly proud of his accurate aim with 
the air gun and had hit the little target thirty feet 
away several times and once at the center. Presently 
came a shot which seemed to miss the target altogether. 
The division laughed. Loomis peered at the target a 
moment, walked up to it, squinted sideways at it again, 


drew out his pocket knife and dug out a bullet from 
the central hole. "Last bullet in the exact center over 
the first," said "Loom," and amid the thunders of 
applause from the benches one saw his lips part in his 
rare equation of a real laugh. 

In those days the most prominent firm of New 
Haven stationers was Skinner & Sperry. A student 
had sent in to the Faculty meeting a letter purporting 
to be from his father living in a distant city as an 
excuse for some academic default. Loomis took the 
letter, held it up to the light and exclaimed, "Water 
mark, Skinner and Sperry. I move that B." naming 
the student "be suspended." 

One would infer from his temperament that Loomis 
was a severe disciplinarian. Yet, as a division officer, 
he was never unpopular or deemed overstrict. He 
enforced the Faculty rules but with an even and exact 
scale of justice that carried with it a sense of fairness 
which commended him to the undergraduate. And 
now and then he quite relaxed. They tell a story of 
him in Faculty meeting where the case of a Sophomore 
and a Freshman, who had been in a Campus fracas 
who, in fact, had been in a genuine fight was on trial. 
The Sophomore was a notorious bully and breeder of 
trouble who had repeatedly incurred Faculty discipline. 
"Did the Freshman hit him?" queried Loomis. "Yes," 
was the reply. "Did he hit him hard?" "Yes, hard." 
"Very hard?" "Yes, very hard." "Then," said 
Loomis, "I move that the case be dismissed." 

Of positive slips in his scientific work only two are 
on record. In his astronomy in the section on "tides" 
appears the statement that at the head of the Bay of 
Fundy the tides sometimes rise seventy feet. A former 
pupil of the professor went to Nova Scotia and made 


not merely careful measurements of the great tides 
but of their past records, finding that the highest known 
in the half-century had been about forty-three feet. 
Meeting Loomis on the Campus a few months later, 
his old pupil informed him of the "book" error. After 
a moment of depression, the professor replied: "Took 
it from other books. Should have gone and measured 
the tides myself." The other slip was in connection 
with a question raised by a leading newspaper of New 
York City "Whether an ice boat could under any con- 
ditions sail faster than the velocity of the propelling 
wind," which was left in the form for a reply by Pro- 
fessor Loomis and two other eminent physicists, one 
of Columbia, the other of Princeton. All three, 
strangely enough, answered the question in the nega- 
tive and had to retract after a storm of protests had 
come from the ice-boat men with their testimony to 
the superior speed of the craft sailing across the wind. 
But on the side of his precisions may be noted the fact 
that in the year 1835 when a tutor at Yale he fixed 
with the crudest instruments the latitude and longitude 
of the old Athenaeum tower within two seconds of the 
best computations today. 

In his last days and almost in his last hours he was 
moved from his boarding house to the New Haven 
Hospital where he passed away; and it is told that in 
the final moments of delusion old classroom words 
passed his lips, such as "That'll do, you may go," 
addressed to his nurse, while his last words of all were 
"What's the weather?" The probate of his will dis- 
closed an unlooked-for estate of more than $300,000, 
practically all, after an annuity of about two-thirds 
the income for two sons, going to Yale for astronomi- 
cal uses and those sons have since further commemo- 


rated their sire by fellowships in science of $10,000 
each. Thus both on the mental and material side, in 
terms of high personal service and concrete heritage, 
will the name of one of her most remarkably individ- 
ualized sons go down into the future annals of Yale. 
In the Memorial Hall of the University on the tablet 
placed by his old pupils is his fit tribute: "An exact 
scholar, an astronomer of wide repute, in meteorology 
a pioneer and a large benefactor of this University." 



One of the last indirect contributions to the Alumni 
Weekly of the late Frederick J. Kingsbury, '46, was 
his brief tale of how he found one day a classmate 
whittling with his jackknife an enlargement of a knot- 
hole in the sash of a window of one of the college 
classrooms just before a term examination this for 
the easier passage of a "skinning" paper, so-called. To 
Mr. Kingsbury's query, "What are you doing there, 
Jim?" came the reply, "Preparing for examination." 
The pun attests the fact that even in those far-away 
days of the last century, cheating the Faculty at exami- 
nations was in vogue. Probably, too, its moral status 
in its relations to the Faculty as measured by the 
undergraduate standard was much the same as twenty 
or thirty years later whereof these memories are 
penned. That is to say, a college man of good 
scholarship who "cheated for stand" was rated dis- 
honorable. Not so the man of perilously low scholar- 
ship who hung by the eyebrows on the brink. In the 
eyes of his classmates his successful "skin" through a 
hard examination was invested with a quality half 
heroic, half jocose. He had "done" the Faculty, who 
had been trying to "do" him, and had won a personal 
triumph over his official foes. The sentiment was 
morbid, no doubt, but it was there and held its own 
from class to class. 


There is a better undergraduate sentiment now, by 
common and trustworthy report. The old practice of 
"skinning" under its modernized term of "cribbing" 
a vernacular change like the shift of the old "rush" 
into the verb "to kill" has dropped to minor degrees. 
Certainly one hears nowadays relatively scant Yale talk 
of pains and penalties inflicted by authority for cheat- 
ing. Old graduates will note this improved academic 
era from various points of view. Some will lay it to 
the general betterment of college morals with its talk, 
and sometimes actuality of an "honor" system at 
examinations; others will refer it to elective studies 
and the potential choice of subjects, easier because, as 
a rule, more congenial, and yet others, with plausibility, 
will accent the fact that in those days the examinations 
were harder and, in the case of a larger proportion of 
undergraduates, more fateful. Harder and more fate- 
ful they surely were. In these years the examination 
year splits into two parts and the exam ends the ordeal 
for each section. In those days there were two stiff 
term exams, one in late December, the other in late 
March or early April, and not less searching because 
they were vocal; and in June came the dismal and 
dreaded "Annual" in Alumni Hall, spanning all the 
studies of the year. Each subject was usually three 
hours long, a whole class being individualized in 
Alumni Hall around the hexagonal tables that remain 
to this day. How many a frail scholastic bark went to 
pieces on the rocks of the "Annual" only the records of 
Woodbridge Hall and the leaves of the non-graduate 
catalog properly sifted can tell. But frequent as 
were its wrecks and portentous its ordeals, they were 
pitched in a minor key as compared with the funeral 
march of the "Biennial" exam, covering the classroom 


work of two full years and which held on from 1850 
to 1865. Moreover, those were times when each man 
must toe the dead line of required study with mathe- 
matics writ big and electives yet unspelled. No escape 
then for the man who was a shark in algebra and 
geometry but a minnow in Greek and Latin or vice 

Far more than now was the temperamental trend of 
the instructor in the classroom studied as a clue to the 
exam. Was he exacting in subjunctives? subjunctive 
passages in the text were best crammed. Had he 
emphasized in recitation a particular group of formulas 
or problems? those were the ones to "line up" on. 

The death in ripe old age of Cornelius S. More- 
house, the "grand old man" and dean of New Haven's 
printing industry, a founder of the house of Tuttle, 
Morehouse & Taylor, for years the Yale printers and 
at once factors and watchdogs of the examination 
papers, recalls those days of the biennials and annuals, 
the tricks of "skinning" which they generated and the 
irrepressible conflict in which the precarious scholar 
set his wits and, sometimes, his desperation against the 
keen vision and prevision of the Faculty. 

Many of the tales are apocryphal or imported to the 
Yale Campus from other and indefinite college lati- 
tudes. Such, for example, is the legend of the printer's 
devil at T., M. & T.'s, hired by the Sophomores to don 
white duck trousers, sit down accidentally on the 
printer's form and bring out the Euclid figure on the 
seat of his pantaloons. Equally nebulous, the tale of 
the venturesome Sophomore who "shinnied" up the 
water-pipe and, with strong opera glasses, peered 
through the skylight of the printing house and "got" 
the paper. More credible is the story of the heavily 


bribed printer who rested his shirt sleeve on the form 
and sold his undergarment to a Yale class for $300 
as a private speculation. What is certain is that des- 
perate attempts used to be made to get the paper 
usually in mathematics but very rarely with success. 
"A Graduate of '69" (L. H. Bagg) in his "Four Years 
at Yale" tells of one such bold venture that failed: 
how two professional burglars were brought up from 
New York, dogged the mathematical professor and 
got a glimpse of the paper in conic sections but 
could not identify the figure, so many in the book being 
alike; how, with two Sophomores, they broke o' night 
into the printing office, when their dark lantern went out 
and one of the Sophs had to hie him back to the Cam- 
pus for a new light; but how the keenest search amid 
forms and cases and presses failed to reveal the longed- 
for sheet. That story of his class by U A Graduate of 
'69" is genuine and a measure of the exam despera- 
tions. Mr. Bagg also tells us, forsooth, that one of 
the despairing Sophs of the burglar venture got 
through that dreaded exam by the bold trick of "double 
papers," with imitated handwriting passed in for 
a price by a high stand classmate. 

Of the impressionist type is also the story of the 
bribed printer who brought out the mathematical figure 
by the device of dropping his handkerchief on the form, 
sitting down upon it and thus securing the impression. 
It is a pat comrade to the pantaloons legend but rests 
on more direct evidence. 

The pocket game, with the skinning paper held 
through the slit trouser leg and the long double scroll, 
winding and unwinding twixt thumb and forefinger 
figured too often in the annual exams. It was named 
the "roly-boly" ; and, in truth, there was here and there 


a crippled scholar who began his u roly-boly" at the 
beginning of the term, condensing its figures and formu- 
las until it covered the whole book and the product a 
marvel of cribbing ingenuity to be sold to some infirm 
scholar of the next class should the text-book be con- 
tinued. Among what the college boys of our time 
termed the "easy meats" of the classroom, Professor 
Noah Porter, afterwards president, undoubtedly took 
the first undergraduate prize with his persistent blind- 
ness to the most palpable crib a trait familiar and 
celebrated with thunderous applause by his college audi- 
ence in Center Church when, in his inaugural address, 
he announced that "the relation of teacher and taught 
should be kindly, sympathetic and unsuspecting" 

Out of clear memory of those old days comes one 
veritable incident. One goes back to Frederick N. 
Judson, '66, now a great lawyer of the West and late 
chairman of the Yale Alumni Advisory Board. At 
the time of the episode he was teacher in the Hopkins 
Grammar School and was carrying home in his hand 
the papers of the Virgil exam when he stopped to pass 
a word with a Freshman of the Class of '70 Yale. 
Just then a gust of wind turned up one of the edges of 
the package. It showed just two initial words of the 
passage of the Georgics, but 'twas enough. The sharp 
eye of the Freshman caught them, the sub-Freshman 
class of the Grammar School was duly notified and the 
passage with prudential limitations "killed" at the 
exam the second and unseen passage, carrying off a 
fraud which otherwise might have been scented. 
^Eolus, god of the winds, became for the nonce a 
Grammar School deity. 

The ancient and honored house of Tuttle, More- 
house & Taylor has almost no records of an exam 


paper lost, strayed or stolen, but, per contra, a long 
narrative of successful precautions. For some years 
its foreman used to cart press and type to a sequestered 
room of the old library, where, under surveillance of a 
member of the Faculty, the paper was "set up" by the 
foreman, whether in English or Greek text not an 
irrational precaution in days when $1,000 or even 
$1,500 might be obtained for a "hard" paper, espe- 
cially in mathematics. Later, the preparation of the 
papers has been transferred to a select corps of printers 
in a locked room, also under Faculty watch and ward. 
Yet once or twice the papers have gone astray. Once 
the package was taken from an errand boy by a city 
detective, hired for a big sum by the students ; but the 
rasped sealing betrayed the fraud to the professor 
when the package was delivered and a new paper was 
printed. So careful was the late Professor Seymour 
that when a package of the Greek paper was left acci- 
dentally in his vestibule, he went to the pains of printing 
a new one. In the contractural relation of the parties 
the firm furnishes plant and printers of high character; 
the Faculty assumes the rest of the responsibility. 


In the evolution of the elective system of study at 
Yale it appears to have come to pass that astronomy, 
outside of the Prospect Hill Observatory, is singing 
its swan song. At any rate, as has heretofore been 
noted, the new academic elective pamphlet offers no 
course in the study for the college year 1910-11, 
though there may be a single course in the year follow- 
ing; and the same exclusion is found both in the courses 
of the graduate branch and of the Sheffield Scientific 
School. The change has come, too, strangely enough, 
during a period of a decade or two when astronomy has 
been popularized when the daily papers give us their 
monthly map of the constellations, when each new celes- 
tial discovery is heralded in the press despatch, and 
when the canals of Mars and the mutations of Halley's 
comet reach out from the big observatories into the 
illustrated magazine article. What has actually come 
to pass at Yale has been the transit of astronomy from 
a classroom to a research study. 

That the ancient Yale scientists, in their crude way, 
delved in astronomy is certified by some of the earliest 
records of the College. In 1747, as a yellow and time- 
worn page in the Treasury shows, the College owned 
along with other scientific apparatus : U A telescope with 
a tripod; two sets of posts and a glass to be screwed on 
to look at the sun; a pair of globes celestial; and an 
orrery," the latter technically explained as a contri- 


vance to illustrate by revolving balls the movements of 
the bodies of the solar system. The revered President 
Ezra Stiles in his famous diary under date of June 23, 
1779, gives us some astronomical addenda to the Yale 
collection. They include "President Clap's planeta- 
rium about 7 feet diam. ditto exhibiting the astron. 
movements by mechanism. Mr. Austin's ditto in wires 
about 3^ Diam. Telescope, a reflector. Mr. Williams' 
cometarium. Mr. Austin's lunarium. Mr. Clap's 
comet of 1744. Brass quadrant, astronomical," the 
latter given by Christopher Kilby of London in 1757. 
The reference to "Mr. Clap's comet" hints, if it does 
not prove, that President Stiles' predecessor, as Yale's 
official head, was the object of celestial attraction. 

How President Stiles dabbled in every branch of 
science and had his theory for each, his vast diary in 
many pages attests, and astronomy was one of his chief 
objectives. He tells of stars, planets, solar phenomena. 
But among his delicious and quite unconscious fakes 
may be rescued verbatim this, which will be informative, 
for the astronomer up to date : 

Nov. 12, 1788. Mr. Sam Mix at North Haven saw the 
meteor of 17 Oct. and judged it to fall a little west of his 
house. He has seen four or 3 others heretofore; one of which 
he stopt and caught in a Net as he was fishing at Dragon on 
the East River 2y 2 m from Y. College; this was a Mucilage or 
Gelly; another on the Rode from N. Haven to North Haven 
near Balls about five miles out of Town, it fell down in the 
path near him, he examined it and found it a gelatinous sub- 
stance; another elsewhere which he kept till it froze and he 
cut it with his Knife. These were little irregularly formed 
bunches of Gelly. Col. Levi Hubbard tells me he was one 
eveng. returning to Town and near the Neck Bridge he saw 
a Light which he first took to belong to the houses in town a 
mile off but it came forwd in the Course of the Neck Lane 
until it struck upon his breast and dissipated in luminous Gelly. 


His cloaths were all besmeared with it till he arrived home to 
his own house in Town. Hence the Meteors in the inferior 
part of the Atmosphere called Jack O'Lanterns or gelatinous 
Congelations (concretions) of the phosphorus kind, which being 
subtile and very much attenuated float in Air and are carried 
along by gentle streams of air till they strike objects or fall to 
the ground. Mr. Chapman of Tolland once followed one that 
fell and found near half a Bushel of Gelly on the ground. It 
is luminous by the phosphoral attraction of fire out of air. 

First in the Yale roll of genuine astronomers as 
pioneer comes Professor Denison Olmsted, 1813, emi- 
nent in all-round scholarship as well as in the lore of 
the heavens, gifted as teacher and a teacher himself 
of other great Yale teachers, promoter of public edu- 
cation in Connecticut, as strong in good citizenship as 
he was in the classroom. It was in Olmsted's time that 
Yale, in 1830, got her first real telescope ten feet 
focal length and five inches aperture reckoned in 
those days the best in the country, and through which 
Olmsted in 1835 caught Halley's comet on its return, 
several weeks before the announcement came from the 
star-gazers of Europe. It was Olmsted also who first 
gave to the world the true theory of meteoric showers 
after witnessing the great shower of 1833, an d along 
with it came his theories of the Aurora Zodiacal light. 
That he worked up the whole College for years to a 
high pitch of astronomical enthusiasm comes as a 
strange commentary from the early nineteenth century 
on the present stellar hiatus at Yale in the first decade 
of the twentieth. What Professor Olmsted was as a 
teacher is attested indirectly by one of his text-books 
on natural philosophy which ran through no less than 
a hundred editions; and directly by the group of 
astronomers and mathematicians who drew from him 
their classroom inspirations, including Elias Loomis, 


'30; F. A. P. Barnard of the same class, president of 
Columbia College; William Chauvenet, '40, professor 
of Astronomy at the Naval Academy; J. S. Hubbard, 
'43, astronomer of the Naval Observatory; and 
brilliant young E. P. Mason, '39, who, as an under- 
graduate, made important original contributions to 
astronomical science and was making more when 
tuberculosis took him a year after graduation the 
dread disease which by sad and strange coincidence 
swept away four promising sons of Professor Olmsted 
in young manhood, all four graduates of the College. 




The life at Yale in classroom, in dormitory and on 
the Campus of the Yale graduates whose lodgment in 
Connecticut Hall, renamed from South Middle Col- 
lege, has just been commemorated by tablets, make 
one fact very prominent: all, or nearly all, of those 
men, whatever their personal idiosyncrasies, ranked 
high in scholarship, in literary work and in debate. 
Their standing in College thus forecasts success in after 
life and has repeated the tale told on a larger scale of 
Yale's valedictorians and salutatorians men as a rule 
reputed far below the average in postgraduate deed, 
but who, as the actual records show, have risen far 
above the middle line. 

Taking up in order of graduation the men of the 
Connecticut Hall memorials, there comes first the name 
of the famed jurist, James Kent, of the class of 1781. 
In these words of his own in which he sums up the 
intellectual elements of his undergraduate career, the 
truth of his statement may dilute its flavor of conceit: 

My four years' residence at New Haven were distinguished 
by nothing material in the memoranda of my life. I had the 
reputation of being quick to learn and of being industrious and 
full of emulation. I surpassed most of my class in historical 
and belles-lettres learning and was full of youthful vivacity and 
ardor. I was amazingly regular, and decorous and industrious 
and in my last year received a large share of the esteem and 
approbation of the President and tutors. I left New Haven 
September, 1871, clothed with college honors and a very promis- 
ing reputation. 


Simeon Baldwin, once Judge of the Supreme Court 
of Connecticut and classmate of the Chancellor in 
1781, describes Kent as systematic in his studies spite 
of the many interruptions of the war; very retentive 
in memory; among the best of the class in belles-lettres 
and classics and at the head of the class in general 
reading and literature. So absorptive was his mind 
that from the style of his last composition could be 
inferred the author just previously read. But Kent, in 
his early college years, had one fault, symptomatic, 
however, of mental activity. So fast did ideas rush to 
his tongue that words came too rapidly and were apt to 
"lead off" into incoherence. He broke himself of this 
habit by rehearsing to Baldwin with orders to stop the 
speaker when words began to flow too swiftly; and 
Baldwin tells us how often Kent, when overchecked, 
would sit down and weep copiously. Kent graduated 
with the honor of the Cliosophic oration which, in those 
far-away days ranked him second in a graduating class 
of twenty-seven men. Yet Baldwin, himself, later a 
member of Congress and a Judge of the Connecticut 
Supreme Court, says of the great Chief Justice and 
Chancellor of New York State that "although a dis- 
tinguished scholar in his class he acquired nothing at 
College and nothing in the circumstances of the time 
which, without great personal effort, could make him 
the most eminent jurist of his time." 

Chief Justice Kent's room was on the fourth floor 
of the north entry of Old South Middle on the front 
corner, overlooking what was then the college yard 
and the Fence. 

Three years more bring us to another embryo jurist 
on the Yale Campus, Jeremiah Mason, Class of 1788, 
later United States senator from New Hampshire. In 


his case there is an autobiography but not one that 
gives much space or emphasis to his College career. 
His first day at Yale was a bit galling. Going up to 
the Campus to view the college buildings, he encoun- 
tered in the college yard a man booted and with whip 
in hand who asked if he were a Freshman: u Yes, sir," 
answered Mason. "Take off your hat then, when in 
the presence of one of the government of the College ; 
and go and ring the bell for prayers," said the per- 
sonage. Young Mason obeyed orders, went to the 
Chapel, sought the bell rope in vain and went back to 
his lodgings only to be summoned later for disobe- 
dience to the room of u one of the government of the 
College" (Tutor Channing) and get a vigorous haul- 
ing over the academic coals for not knowing that the 
rope had been drawn up to the belfry. At this point 
the paternal Mason, then a member of the Connecticut 
General Assembly, interfered to rescue his son from 
the fagging system of the College and secured the son's 
lodgment with a tutor in return for part payment of 
tutorial room rent and other service duly rendered. 

Mason's undergraduate autobiography is chiefly of 
value for its sidelights on the scholastic Yale of the 
time. He tells us how the learned President Stiles 
"had excellent talents for government; was both loved 
and respected and maintained a sound discipline; and a 
boy that would not study had an uncomfortable time of 
it." Those who have read the famous diary will recall 
the President's intense love of Hebrew and his insist- 
ence on its study by the whole Senior class; but will 
hardly wonder at Mason's testimony that "we learned 
the alphabet and worried through two or three Psalms, 
after a fashion; with the most of us it was a mere pre- 
tense. He (President Stiles) said that one of the 


Psalms he tried to teach us would be the first we should 
hear sung in Heaven and that he should be ashamed 
that any of his pupils should be entirely ignorant of 
that holy language." 

There follows a bit of scholastic "graft." Mason 
at Commencement in his forensic disputation on the 
legality of capital punishment tells how he u stole the 
most of my argument from the treatise of the Marquis 
Beccaria, then little known in this country. It was new 
and consequently well received by the audience ; indeed 
its novelty excited considerable notice. I was flattered 
and much gratified by being told that my performance 
was the best of the day." 

Jeremiah Mason's room was on the third story of 
the same entry as Kent, the front corner room. Mason 
was regular and diligent in studies; stood first in his 
class in Latin and mathematics; was strong in disputa- 
tion; and was one of the Chapel monitors. The early 
bent of his mind is indexed by constant attendance as 
an undergraduate at the New Haven law trials. 

The academic record at Yale of Eli Whitney, Class 
of 1792, whose invention of the cotton-gin swerved a 
great nation's history, is all too scant. He roomed in 
the north entry in the ground floor corner room, the 
old-fashioned windows of which are today the same as 
in his time. In Stiles' diary under date of April 30, 
1789, the President's brief entry, "examined and 
admitted a Freshman," is probably first official refer- 
ence to the illustrious inventor. A second entry under 
date of July 12, 1792, proves that Whitney owned 
rhetorical as well as mechanical gifts : 

12 Whitney of the Sen. class delivered a Funeral Oration 
upon his classmate Grant, who died in Georgia last spring. He 



was the fourth that has died out of that class. The oration 
was well delivered and publickly in chapel. 

The oration was afterwards published. 

Professor Denison Olmsted's memoir of the inventor 
informs us that Whitney did not enter College until 
twenty-three years old; earned most of his way to and 
through College, chiefly by teaching; in College gave 
more attention to mathematics and mechanics than to 
the classics but wrote many good compositions and 
some verses less famous now than his cotton-gin; and 
that his written words, as an undergraduate, reveal 
imagination, a political cast of thought and exultant 
patriotism over the recent release of his land from the 
British yoke. Here are two incidents that depict the 
inventive bent of the young academic scion : 

On a particular occasion one of the tutors, happening to 
mention some interesting philosophical experiment, regretted 
that he could not exhibit it to his pupils because the apparatus 
was out of order and must be sent abroad to be repaired. Mr. 
Whitney proposed to undertake the task and performed it 
greatly to the satisfaction of the faculty of the College. 

A carpenter being at work upon one of the buildings of the 
gentleman with whom Mr. Whitney boarded, the latter begged 
permission to use his tools during the intervals of study; but 
the mechanic, being a man of careful habits, was unwilling to 
trust them with a student and it was only after the gentleman 
of the house had become responsible for all damages that he 
would grant the permission. But Mr. Whitney had no sooner 
commenced his operations than the carpenter was surprised at 
his dexterity and exclaimed "there was one good mechanic 
spoiled when you went to college." 

Two entries of the Stiles diary, while not during 
Whitney's undergraduate life, jostle it in time so closely 
that they are here annexed: 

Feb. 22 (1794). Mr. Whitney brot to my house & shewed 


us his machine by him invented for cleaning cotton of its seeds. 
He shewed us the model which he has finished to lodge in 
Philadelphia in the Secretary of States office where he takes out 
his Patent. This miniature model is pfect & will clean about 
a dozen pounds a day or about 40 Ibs before cleaning. He has 
completed six large ones, barrels . . . five feet long to carry 
to Georgia. In one of them I saw about a dozen pounds of 
cotton with seeds cleaned by one pson in about twenty minutes 
from which were delivered above three pounds of cotton purely 
cleansed from seed. It will clean 100 cwt a day. A curious 
and very ingenious piece of mechanism. 

March 12 (1795). Yesterday morning Mr. Whitney's 
workshop consumed by fire. Loss 3000 Doll, about 10 finished 
machines for seeding cotton & 5 or 6 unfinished, & all the tools 
which no man can make but Mr. Whitney, the inventor, & 
which he has been 2 years in making. 

The undergraduate personality of James Gates 
Percival, Class of 1815, introduces us to a "remote, 
unfriended melancholy" but not "slow" genius, a man 
of moods but with spasms of amiability and cheerful- 
ness. Many verses he penned during his college life. 
The poetic outbursts used to follow the musings of 
long and solitary walks after each breakfast and 
supper. Then he would return to his room, in the 
English phrase "sport the oak" and for an hour or 
two, pen in hand, let genius burn. In his first college 
year he offered the manuscript of his poems Seasons 
of New England to General Howe, then local book- 
seller and publisher, whose literary shop stood on the 
present site of the New Haven House; and the muse 
was crushed to earth for awhile when Howe refused 
even to examine verses penned by a Freshman. Guys 
and "skits" of his classmates levelled at his passion 
for verse-making brought out at first tears and such 
exclamations as "I will be a poet"; afterwards satirical 
skits of his own aimed at his torturers. As a versifier 


he was bold and persistent; wrote a tragedy and took 
part in it as an actor; read his poems intrepidly at the 
meetings of Brothers in Unity; and used to paste them 
on the college walls while he stood near and listened 
to the comments of his readers. In person the colle- 
giate Percival was of middle size, light complexion, 
with an agreeable but somewhat stolid face; and very 
sensitive to animal suffering, as witness his anguish at 
the violent death of one of South Middle's host of rats. 
He was antipodal to existing fashion. Did the College 
cut its hair long, Percival cut his short; did fashion 
dictate short coats, Percival wore his long; was black 
dominant in color garb, Percival donned grey; and he 
never blacked his boots. But in scholarship he was 
stalwart, studied mathematics as a recreation, made 
eighty-four abstracts of the lectures of the elder Silli- 
man said to be the best digest of them extant and 
would have won the Valedictory oration but for an 
impediment of speech. Such is the strange hybrid of 
recluse, crank, poet and scholar that summarizes under 
Yale's elms Connecticut's foremost muse. 

Percival's room when in South Middle was in the 
north entry, which housed most of the men whom Yale 
has now honored. The geologist-poet lived on the 
fourth floor of the old dormitory, in the back room, 
where later President Porter lived. 

If Eli Whitney, Kent, Jeremiah Mason and Percival 
lent early luster to the quaint gabled chambers of Old 
South Middle, a later succession of famous names 
added to the value of the old brick dormitory as a 
priceless Yale heirloom. Woolsey, Porter two Yale 
Presidents lived there, as did Horace Bushnell, the 
spiritual New England theological leader, and Edward 
Rowland Sill, Yale's best loved poet. 


Strangely enough in the case of one who impressed 
so recently and so deeply his character on Yale, the 
records tell us little of the undergraduate life of 
President Woolsey, Class of 1820, in which class he 
graduated at the age of nineteen. In the main his life 
as student was that of the scholar and writer, his 
literary activity being reflected in a manuscript periodi- 
cal, the Talebearer, edited jointly by himself, Leonard 
Bacon and Alexander Twining, uncle of President 
Hadley. In the Talebearer appears poetry of varied 
merit and essays, most of them of a didactic and some- 
what skilled undergraduate type. In its higher literary 
flights, for example, are a poem by Bacon on "Vinegar" 
dedicated to the "acetic" muse, and an essay by 
Woolsey signed "Peter Ponderous" that traces out 
satirically the changes in the fashion of dress. Wool- 
sey was one of a "hexahedron" of six friends formed 
to continue college intimacies after graduation by 
exchange of letters. In 1820, Woolsey's year of 
graduation, at the Phi Beta Kappa's Commencement 
banquet the Faculty forbade the use of wines. The 
society declared the Faculty ultra vires, and insisted on 
the wines, which Woolsey and the next in classroom 
rank as the two "best scholars" duly passed around. 
The Faculty did not press the matter. 

It was during Woolsey's stay in College that the 
debating society, Linonia, fell into discord and schism. 
Thirty-two members from southern states, objecting 
to the election of a northern president of the society, 
seceded to form the Calliopean Society which con- 
tinued a southern organization until its passing in 1853, 
when it owned with minor assets a library of 6,000 

The Talebearer gives us side glimpses of this 


trouble and some offshoots of it in Brothers in Unity 
where the paper, read at the meetings, furnished 
criticisms that did not always assuage forensic bad 
temper. The records of Woolsey are interesting in 
connection with some comments of his on the good 
showing of the college catalog of 1820 in which, pre- 
casting the possible growth of Yale to 1,200 students, 
he asks "how could the President instruct a class of 
300 men?" giving thus a passing view of the functions 
as instructor of the head of the College in the old 
Yale. Woolsey, graduating as valedictorian, was 
evidently a student whose high scholarship did not bar 
him from a large group of strong personal friends. 
There is no proof that he cared for sports or even for 
exercise beyond long walks; but those who remember 
his bent form in later years will marvel when told that 
as a Senior his stature fell but a quarter inch below six 

The great name of Horace Bushnell, Class of 1827, 
in later years so large in theology and still growing 
with the years, does not appear to have had big under- 
graduate dimensions, actual or prophetic. Long an 
invalid in maturer age, Bushnell, on the Campus, was 
a well-grown young man, both wiry and sturdy in 
frame, robust in general physique, ruddy in cheek, 
carrying a head of unusual size marked by deep-set 
eyes under a mass of raven hair. A trait of good- 
fellowship is hinted in the familiar title, "Billy Bush," 
given him by his mates. He was versatile, loved 
nature, exercise, sports especially fishing and music, 
in which he was so versed as to be a member of the 
Beethoven Society and the college choir; and he seems 
to have been a good "mixer," albeit much of his 
dormitory life was that of the scholar. In his 


academic four years he had bitter soul wrestlings, 
stirred by religious doubt, to which he once referred 
in an eloquent passage of a sermon preached many 
years after in the Old Chapel. Bushnell took part in 
the first u conic sections rebellion" of 1825, which is 
to be sharply demarcated from the much more serious 
conic sections rebellion in 1830. In his Sophomore 
year his class claimed that, by explicit contract with its 
mathematical tutor, it was exempt from the corollaries 
of the text-book, and, when the corollaries were 
insisted on, thirty-eight including Bushnell out of 
the class of eighty-seven men refused to recite and were 
suspended by the Faculty. Parental authority sus- 
tained that of the College and the great theologian 
with the rest, signed this formula of repentance. 

We, the undersigned, having been led into a course of oppo- 
sition to the government of Yale College, do acknowledge our 
fault in this resistance, and promise, on being restored to our 
standing in the class, to yield a faithful obedience to the laws. 

Bushnell had good comradeship in the mutiny which 
included such classmates as Chief Justice Welch, of 
Minnesota, Judge Henry Hogeboom, of the New York 
supreme court, Professor Grosvenor, of Illinois Col- 
lege, and President William Adams, of Union Theo- 
logical Seminary; and the famous preacher is quoted 
in later life as justifying on moral grounds the academic 
sedition and, presumptive, repenting his own pro forma 
repentance. He had a trace of impetuosity in his 
nature. Once on the way to Chapel noting a classmate 
"stropping his razor the wrong way," he dashed into 
the room, took the instrument in hand, showed the 
true art of making an edge, and all the way to the 
Chapel doors dilated ardently on the theme. Horace 


Bushnell lived in the south entry of Old South Middle, 
in part of the room occupied by the Dean's office. 

Concerning President Porter, Class of 1831, few 
reminiscences are handed down. He entered College 
in his sixteenth year, a round-shouldered lad and the 
smallest member of his class thus coming to be 
familiarly known as ''Little Noah Porter" ; but in later 
undergraduate years he shot up to the average stature 
of his classmates and lost all awkwardness of figure. 
In sub-Freshman days he had bursts of sudden anger, 
but of these college life gave him almost complete 
control and not a trace of them survived into later 
life a self-mastery that credits his Yale training. 
While not athletic, he was a keen lover of outdoor 
sports of the quieter type though they tell of him 
that, after shooting his first game bird and seeing its 
dying struggles, he gave up shooting as a sport. He 
was an ardent lover of nature also and self-trained 
into a good botanist. Diffident and retiring in his early 
academic years, as an upperclassman he became promi- 
nent as scholar and debater, excelled in mathematics, 
and was noted in the classroom for clearness and pre- 
cision in thought and speech. Simple in habit and 
manners, he disclosed on the Campus the same geniality 
that marked him as the later professor and president; 
and there an undergraduate personality destined for 
the Yale headship seems to end. President Porter's 
room was the same as that of James Gates Percival 
sixteen years earlier. 

Edward Rowland Sill, '61, the poet, whose name is 
written large in Yale's literary roll (though possibly 
his fame is on the wane just now with the critics of 
American verse), roomed in the south entry of the old 
building where he lived his mutinous and original life 


at Yale. His room was on the back corner of the 
third floor. Sill was a dreamer from the day he 
entered the College. His memoirs show him to have 
been an omnivorous reader, though very little in love 
with the curriculum of the day. He was of an original 
mould and was very likely one of the exceptions that 
proved the rule that, considering the state of education 
in this country at the time and the uses to which college- 
bred men put their collegiate education, the old formal 
prescribed course turned out the best men. For Sill 
the curriculum of his day was a thorn in the flesh. He 
disliked being forced into the groove his classmates 
studied in, and he objected strenuously to having his 
mental pabulum digested for him by his classroom 
authorities. He made the old Library his friend, and 
was more immersed in the odd volumes he was con- 
stantly extracting from its shelves than he was in the 
books his tutors laid before him. Sill was not widely 
known at College, but some of his tenderest and most 
delightful lines were penned here, perhaps in some 
dusty, secluded corner of the Library, or in his Campus 
room, with its open fire, its low ceiling, its paneled 
doors, and its small-paned windows looking out on the 
Campus and toward the towers and minarets of the 
old Library across the lawns. 



Of the late Lyman H. Bagg, U A Graduate of '69," 
and author of "Four Years at Yale," a book which for 
all time will be a historical index of the undergraduate 
life of the College during the sixties and for some 
years later, there comes back to the writer across the 
gap of forty years a vivid picture. One sees again a 
form that might have stepped out of one of Dickens' 
novels bent at the shoulders, boyish in stature, aqui- 
line and wrinkled in face, and with a peculiar expres- 
sion, half humorous, half cynical, which instantly 
demarcated him from the common student type. 
Bagg's face was not a fortune, nor did it necessarily 
denote genius. But it had the contours of a decided 
and strong individuality. Joined to the figure of the 
man and a unique shuffling gait that never seemed to 
vary in pace, it was the outward sign of a strange 
personality and, in its way, of a gifted one. 

It was not as a classmate that the writer knew Bagg, 
but as a contemporary on the Campus, who met him 
more frequently at New Haven and elsewhere during 
a few years after his graduation than perhaps before. 
But in the life of the Campus he is recalled as essen- 
tially a man of what would be called now "outside 
activities," chiefly of a mental sort. He was seen at 
the ball game or the boat race, but not uplifted into 
the athletic enthusiasms; apparently a good mixer with 
his class and apt to be one of the familiar figures 


perched upon the ancient and honored Fence ; reputed, 
and doubtless in fact, an inveterate collector of Yale 
memorabilia, which habit may indeed have been the 
germ of the volume that perpetuates his name. 

Mr. Bagg was a clear writer but not imaginative 
and with a proclivity for objective themes, including 
statistics, in which he had the gift of precision. His 
literary rank, measured by the standard of his College 
time, is indicated by his editorship of the Yale Literary 
Magazine; and, for some obscure reason, apparent 
defects in imagination did not prevent his election as 
class poet. His class poem, by the way, has internal 
evidence that he struck rocks in the normal classroom 
voyage. It comes out in the stanza : 

And some are still with us concerning 

Whose perils we think with dismay, 

For, unless snatched like brands from the burning, 

These words were unspoken today 

lines that brought out a round of laughter and 
applause from '69 at its Presentation Day exercises in 
the Old Chapel. That class poem and one other "Bull 
Doggerel" delivered at one of the old-fashioned 
Thanksgiving Jubilees and appearing in the Yale 
Literary Magazine of December, 1867, were the only 
times as Mr. Bagg himself certifies in a later commu- 
nication to his class when his muse dropped into 
print. In his "Bull Doggerel," a Hudibrastic effusion 
carrying considerable humor, he attests his own lack 
of poetic fancy in the lines : 

Most rhymesters have to talk about the "Muse" 
And "inspiration" and that sort of thing, 
That they may satisfy the common views 
And "mystery" about their verses fling. 


They never mention old John Walker's name 
Nor yet his rhyming lexicon so true, 
Though on his help hang all their hope for fame 
And, like enough, their "inspiration" too. 

Of rightly giving praise I am not chary 

And so the credit of my verse is due 

My Bull Dorg and my rhyming dictionary. 

His tendency to minor, if not trivial, statistics is indi- 
cated by his stated record of 160 pages out of 488 in 
the volume of the Yale Literary Magazine when he 
was editor; and by such entries as "wrote class poem 
for Presentation Day 403 lines/' and "220,000 words 
in Four Years at Yale." 

That work, his opus magnum in more senses than 
one, containing 713 pages, he published two years after 
graduation and was in those days dubbed by Bagg 
"An Encyclopaedia of College Life," and, within Yale 
bounds, merits that title. "Four Years at Yale" 
connoted a mountain of toil not merely in such matters 
of research as the confirmation of names and dates, 
but in its collation of a myriad of facts relating to the 
undergraduate life at Yale and student activities on 
and off the Campus told under three divisions : 
(i) "The Society System"; (2) "The Student Life," 
and (3) "The Official Curriculum," each division 
having its separate chapters numbering altogether 
fifteen, besides a chapter of introduction and a final 
one of all-round comment a kind of epitomized 
summary by the author of his personal opinion on 
some of the larger problems of Yale life. It is 
emphatically one of those volumes that come out of 
the long silences and from the midnight oil. Its im- 


print, "Charles C. Chatfield and Co.," has its own 

Mr. Chatfield, a graduate of Yale in 1866 and dying 
ten years later, soon after graduation established, on 
apparently very inadequate capital, a publishing house 
in New Haven under the ambitious title of "The 
University Publishing House," and printed therein a 
good many Yale books. He was kindly and well- 
meaning, but inexperienced as a publisher and too care- 
less in his enterprises traits that led to early bank- 
ruptcy. Bagg himself has told us in print how, after 
two New York publishers had turned down "Four 
Years at Yale," Mr. Chatfield, "with an enormous 
capacity for accepting all sorts of doubtful jobs, reck- 
lessly accepted my offered volume without so much as 
reading a line of it," and how he (Bagg) found out 
that it "was one of the rules of the University Publish- 
ing House that no cash taken in should ever be paid 
out on any possible pretext." The terms of publication 
left small residuum for the laborious author. An 
edition of 1,700 was to be printed. Of these, 200 
were to be distributed to "literary editors" if they 
have them still they can get from ten to twenty dollars 
each. The next 800 copies were to be sold for the 
exclusive profit of the publisher; and the final 700 
copies were to be sold for the joint benefit of publisher 
and author the share of the latter to be 10 per cent. 
"Hence," says Bagg, "even if the entire 1,700 copies 
had been promptly disposed of my cash reward would 
have been $175 and the possible sale of a second 
edition of 1,000 copies would have brought in $250 

What next came to pass was the bankruptcy of the 
University Publishing House, after, as Mr. Bagg says, 


it had made a profit of some $400 or $500 out of his 
book, and from the ruined house directly Bagg secured 
no cash. But from the receiver he obtained some un- 
bound copies of "Four Years at Yale," which a New 
York publisher brought out later as a "second edition," 
returning in the end to the author "a little more than 
$175" as reward for his big task. 

The house of Chatfield must not be dismissed with- 
out brief added reference. It was the publisher of 
The College Courant, a weekly periodical, half maga- 
zine and half newspaper, covering, in imperfect 
fashion, the doings of all American colleges and of 
which Bagg was, for a time, one of the editors. The 
same tottering firm fathered also and owned the 
weekly undergraduate Yale Courant. And it was in a 
measure the outcome of the partly successful insistence 
of the publisher that the undergraduate editors should 
"take their pay in books" from his bookstore, instead 
of the contractual cash, that led (1872) to revolt and 
the founding of the rival Yale Record under separate 
student ownership and control. 

In the closing chapter of "Four Years at Yale," 
under the head of "A Matter of Opinion," with its 
analysis and forecasts on college problems, it is inter- 
esting to see how the author anticipates later academic 
thought. He favors the prep school, with its stimulus 
to self-reliance, as the medium for the college "fit"; 
believes that many Freshmen enter College too soon 
and that even twenty years of age is not too old; 
criticises too great Faculty emphasis laid on classroom 
marks, and too little on the elevating outside activity 
and on the frictional education of the student brushing 
against his mates; and there is a vein of prophecy in 
his forecast of the elective system, then dimly 


descried: u The worst effect of optional studies is to 
destroy class unity." 

Final allusion might be made to the picturesque and 
varied life of Bagg between his "Four Years at Yale" 
and his passing on in particular, perhaps, to his 
"26,694 miles on a bicycle" of the ancient big-wheel 
type held fast to by him as he playfully explained 
"because 46 inch wheel signifies the year of my birth." 
But the limitation here is to the Bagg of his Campus 
epoch and to the abiding work that he penned. He 
wrote his book at just the right time when the college 
life proper was at or very near its climax, when it had 
not been modified by the broader work of the Univer- 
sity, and when almost all of the old customs and 
institutions still either survived or were things of 
recent and personal memory. Such a book is an 
integral part of Yale history and loses none of its 
value as the product of the odd personality of its 
author who, through many shifts of a literary life 
work, never relaxed his academic fealties. 



Almost hidden away in the massive tome "Yale 
College," printed in 1879, is a sketch of the brief and 
brilliant life of Ebenezer Porter Mason of the Class 
of 1839, wno survived his graduation but a year and 
a little more. The short biography of the young genius 
of the class and College appears in the chapter on 
Professor Denison Olmsted one of the grandest of 
Yale's "grand old men" written by the late Professor 
Chester S. Lyman. In a little faded and stained 
volume published in 1842, Professor Olmsted himself 
has told more in extenso the life tale of one who, as a 
student, was probably the most gifted and versatile of 
Yale's younger sons; who, ere he graduated, had won 
fame on two continents as an astronomer and whose 
early passing just at the threshold of a great career no 
philosophy can prevent from seeming sad and strange. 
Many graduates of Yale have won eminence either 
within her walls or in the world at large; here was one 
who in his far-away time had attained it already as a 
youthful undergraduate. Yet because his career was 
so brief, he is all but unknown except to the very oldest 
of surviving alumni and by many of them but dimly 
remembered. To rescue such a character from 
academic oblivion is a task of justice to his memory, 
of interest as a story in itself, and depicts a picturesque 
personal episode in Yale annals. 


Ebenezer Porter Mason was born in Washington, 
Conn., December 7, 1819, son of the Rev. Stephen 
Mason, sometime Congregational pastor in that town, 
whose family name at least suggests the rich Puritan 
and Colonial blood of the famous Captain John 
Mason, leader in Colonial affairs and victor in the 
campaign against the Pequots. There were omens in 
Mason's infant life of his powers to come. As a 
creeper upon the household rug, he traced out colors, 
textures and forms. At two years of age, his chief 
diversion was books. At three years, he was picking 
out letters of the alphabet and forming short words 
and sentences; and ere four years had gone, he was 
"reading the Bible with remarkable fluency and 
propriety before he had even seen a common spelling 
book," and this after the loss of his mother, his first 
instructor, who died when he was three years old. As 
Mason's early years go on, the signs of his mental 
gifts multiply, though he was restrained from head- 
work, as far as possible, by his relatives, who saw the 
need of upbuilding a fragile body. He wrote at seven 
years a letter perfectly punctuated and spelled which 
would not have discredited a youth of twice his age, 
and played a good game of chess, and a year or two 
later he had mastered the mechanics of a steam 
engine; was a past-master of Colburn's arithmetic and 
reading with zest Bacon's "Novum Organum." Pro- 
fessor Olmsted says, "Even then few persons equalled 
him in the facility with which he made his calculations, 
especially in fractions." At school, he led his classes 
in all studies by a wide gap, at twelve years of age 
he was correcting the teacher in mathematics and was 
practically fitted to enter Yale two years ahead of the 
prescribed entering age of a Freshman. 


Young Mason's early taste for poetry developed 
almost as soon as his love for mathematics and at 
thirteen his muse was well fledged. To that early 
period belongs a series of poems of remarkable excel- 
lence for so young a versifier. Among them were 
translations of the ^Eneid, of which this is a sample 
of his paraphrase in rhyme of the Combat of ^Eneas 
and Turnus : 

Meanwhile Aeneas, watching close his foe, 
Lifts high his spear, to Turnus boding woe, 
And hurls it from afar. The weapon sped, 
Nor could the flight of swift-shot rocks exceed, 
Or thunderbolts of Jove. The fatal spear, 
Like blackening tempest flew, with ruin dire, 
Pierced through his armor and his seven-fold shield, 
And then transfixed his thigh. Now forced to yield, 
With bended knee to earth great Turnus falls, 
And groans are heard from the Rutulian walls. 
The mountains wail with sorrow at the wound 
And all the groves with Turnus' fate resound. 

This reference to the star group, Orion, written in 
later years, reveals also Mason's poetical mood: 

And when the star-mailed giant 

A blaze of glory sheds, 

And high in heaven defiant 

His lion mantle spreads, 

I watch his mighty form uprear, 

As spurning earth with hoof of air, 

He mounts upon the whirling sphere, 

And walks in solemn silence there. 

I watch him in his slow decline 

Until to Ocean's hall restored 

He bathes him in the welcome brine 

And the wave sheathes his burning sword. 

Mason taught school for a time on Nantucket 
Island; finished his preparation for Yale at Ellington, 


Conn., and entered the College at the age of sixteen, 
in the Class of 1839. 

At the very outset of his Freshman year, Mason's 
gift in mathematics excited the wonder of the instruc- 
tors. He extracted cube roots of large numbers off- 
hand and solved quickly u in his head" problems in 
algebraic equations of considerable intricacy. He won 
the first prize in a contest for the solution of prize 
problems, doing many of them by various and original 
methods. He ranked high in general scholarship and 
continued to do so through his whole college life, was 
an excellent writer, and an essay of his contrasting 
Cicero with Demosthenes as well as his Junior oration 
attracted special attention. But the feature of his 
college course was his achievement in astronomy. 
Earlier proclivities in that branch of science were 
deepened by association with a classmate, Hamilton 
Lanphere Smith, owner of a good telescope, himself 
of strong astronomical bent and in after life professor 
of that branch at Kenyon and Hobart colleges. He 
and Mason were a kind of brace of "heavenly twins" 
in astronomy outside the classroom. Smith and Mason, 
beginning with the raw materials and melting them for 
the speculum in their anthracite stove, made a telescope 
through which they resolved six of the double stars; 
and two years later, co-working, they made the largest 
and, in some respects, the best telescope then in the 
country. Their first telescope was set on the platform 
above the portico of the Old Chapel, where, in the 
upper part, Mason, for convenience to his beloved 
instrument, afterwards chose his room. What that 
room was, let this description in a letter of Mason 


"If you want to picture to yourself an agreeable 
situation, just form an image of mine. Softly body 
it forth with warm fancy's rapturous touch. Imprimis, 
a room occupied before me by a notoriously dissipated 
fellow, as likewise a tobacco-chewer of the first 
order and a sheetiron stove consequently nearly 
rusted through and floor delightfully variegated. 
Secondly, prospect from it the bricks of North College, 
with a view of the washroom windows of three stu- 
dents, all at the comfortable distance of eight feet 
both buildings rising high above so as to exclude all 
but a narrow line of sky room consequently as dark 
and shady as any grotto of the Nymphs or Muses. 
Thirdly, chimney of such construction that the stove 
has no draught, employing me every morning for an 
hour in kindling a fire which can be effected only by 
keeping all windows raised during the process of 
burning about eight or a dozen newspapers and blow- 
ing the rest of the time at the charcoal I mistake 
not every morning every fourth morning, I should 
have said, for I look around and live on my friends 
the rest of the time. Thus, in winter, light is to be 
obtained close at the window and warmth close by 
the fire an indubitable proof that light and heat are 
not inseparable. In summer, however, when the sun 
shines hot upon the opposite bricks of North College, 
heat but not light is afforded in such quantities as to 
make it hot enough for a New Zealander. I want to 
write more, but I am sitting at seven o'clock in the 
morning in my cold room without a fire which I have 
not the courage to attempt to kindle." 

Maintaining always a high rank in general class- 
room work, harassed by debt he was supported 
through College by friends and relatives at the South 


frail in body and already carrying the symptoms of 
consumption the astronomical achievements of the 
undergraduate Mason were almost incredible. They 
included most accurate and original delineation of the 
nebulae with a memoir and charts filling fifty octavo 
pages of the "American Philosophical Transactions" 
a work which drew praise from Sir John Herschel and 
was for years an astronomical classic; original compu- 
tations of the orbits of double stars; telescopic obser- 
vations on shooting stars; and a vast number of minor 
observations and notes or memoirs upon them. This 
was his work as an undergraduate. In the year follow- 
ing his graduation, with health quite undermined, 
besides other extensive astronomical work, he prepared 
an elaborate mathematical treatise of a hundred and 
forty octavo pages on practical astronomy besides 
doing the astronomical work of the United States 
Government Survey between the Maine boundary and 
Canada. Professor Olmsted's tribute: "Mason, 
young as he was, at the time of his death, was clearly 
entitled to rank among the first astronomers of 
America," stands with its statement. Not least among 
his remarkable powers was his deftness and skill as 
a draftsman, while in penmanship, he could write in 
half a dozen different styles, clear as copperplate, and 
varied, when he chose, by many forms of graceful pen- 
work ornamentation. It is something more solid than 
a tradition of his relatives in Litchfield County, Conn., 
that he scorned the use of ruler and dividers, and that 
his lines and circles drawn offhand could hardly be 
distinguished from those made with the aid of 

Besides his amazing mental gifts, as scientist, artist, 
writer, mechanic and poet, Mason had a lovable and 


winsome personality. He was buoyant in temper, 
dutiful, unselfish, modest, grateful for kindnesses and, 
though compelled by his work to be somewhat of a 
recluse, was naturally a good comrade and classmate. 
In frame and face he had to the end the look of a 
delicate boy. 

He died suddenly at the last near Richmond, Va., 
on December 26, 1840, a year and a few months after 
graduation at Yale, the victim of consumption, which 
had afflicted him for three years, aggravated by an 
ailment of the stomach. Professor Olmsted, his 
biographer, tells of his own many vain attempts to 
persuade Mason to heed warnings against wintry open- 
air exposure in astronomical work yet, in the modern 
light on tuberculosis, it may have been that very 
exposure which prolonged his life. And it is a bit of 
pathetic irony on the words of Professor Olmsted that 
in later years, four of his own sons, after brilliant work 
at Yale, died soon after graduation like young Mason 
and all of the same disease as his. 


Almost every Yale class, whether a class in being 
or extinct, has had its gaps that mark the quenching 
ere graduation of some promising light. There have 
been the gaps by death, by domestic mishap, by loss 
of health, and now and then the eclipse of some shining 
light by Faculty decree, just or unjust. In the class 
list of 1743 of the Triennial Catalogue, then Latinized, 
now Quinquennial and Anglified, one of these gaps 
is found where should stand the name of David 
Brainerd, victim of the Faculty, yet not, perhaps, so 
much the sacrifice to narrow and misguided Yale 
authority as of the theological time in which he lived. 
His name is now all but forgotten in Yale annals; the 
vast majority even of the graduates who have passed 
their half-century class reunion have never heard his 
name nor read it; but, rescued from the shades of a 
century and three-quarters ago, it outlines not merely 
a striking personality but an episode very sensational 
in its time and out of which a great sister university 
may have been born. 

David Brainerd, sixth child in a family of nine sons 
and daughters of Hezekiah Brainerd of Haddam, 
Conn., was born April 20, 1718, in a household whose 
family struck roots deep in the old Puritan soil and 
then and since has stood for one of the strongest kin 
groups in New England genealogy. Losing both his 
parents in early life, he lived for some years with 


relatives in East Haddam, next labored in the near 
township of Durham on a farm, which had come to 
him from his father's estate. But, spurred by mental 
ambition and the religious emotions and currents which 
in those days set so strongly toward the ministry, 
through the college training, he decided to enter Yale, 
fitting for college, as was the custom in that far-away 
and simpler academic period, with a clergyman, Rev. 
Phinehas Fiske, pastor of the Haddam church, and 
later studying with his brother, Nehemiah, Yale 1723, 
pastor of a church in Glastonbury, Conn. Even in that 
early manhood, his piety was profound and his reli- 
gious feeling intense. He himself tells how he read 
his Bible through twice a year, of hours passed daily 
in prayer, of moods of religious gloom, of long soul 
wrestlings, and of final assurance of grace. And it was 
probably this acute, almost morbid, depth of his reli- 
gious nature that led to the academic tragedy in his 
undergraduate life. 

He entered Yale at the age of twenty-one in Septem- 
ber, 1739, with the Class of 1743, was attentive and 
faithful in college duties, in scholarship one of the 
first, if not foremost in his class, a fervent leader in 
religious activities. But his bedrock piety seems to 
have been veined by a spirit of assertiveness and an 
outspoken quality which was to lead to his under- 
graduate undoing. 

It was a time of great religious tension in which the 
College shared and in which young Brainerd took 
active part and gathered around him a group of kin- 
dred spirits, for, as President Jonathan Edwards says, 
"mutual conversation and assistance in spiritual things." 
During his Junior year one evening in the College hall, 
after Mr. Whittlesey, one of the tutors, had delivered 


a prayer, the subject of Mr. Whittlesey's religious 
character became the topic of talk between Brainerd 
and two or three of his friends, evoking from Brainerd 
the criticism that "he (Whittlesey) has no more grace 
than this chair." A Freshman chanced to catch the 
words. Next, cherchez la femme, it is a woman who 
enters the tale to whom the Freshman went and 
babbled the incident; and she, in turn, hies with it to 
President Clap. The President summons the Fresh- 
man, calls next to the inquisition Brainerd's friends to 
whom the remark was made, finds the facts and orders 
Brainerd to make public confession in the hall and ask 
pardon. Brainerd refuses on the ground that he should 
not be held responsible for words uttered in private 
talk. His case is further deepened by disobedience of 
an order of the President against attending a meeting 
of "Separatists" a body of seceders from the main 
church, who at that time were creating in the colony 
much civic and ecclesiastical discord. The Faculty 
joined with President Clap in a serious view of Brain- 
erd's acts and he was formally expelled from the 
College. He came on for the Commencement at which 
his classmates took their degrees, and the day after 
wrote a humble letter to President Clap and the 
Faculty, acknowledging his fault. But he never got 
his degree. 

It is but just to President Clap and his Trustees of 
the College to point out that they were but actors 
though zealous and leading actors in an acrimonious 
religious period due to the Separatist movement during 
which the Colonial legislature of Connecticut enacted 
severe penal statutes aimed at the secession; and it may 
be added that it was his sympathetic and cooperative 
relation in church matters with the lawmakers, which 


he utilized shrewdly in obtaining the Yale charter of 
1745, and also the first state grants for Connecticut 
Hall. Such was the bitterness of the feeling of which 
Sparks' "American Biography" (1830) tells us, in its 
several chapters of the life story of Brainerd, that 
when Brainerd came to the Commencement of his 
class, he found himself in danger of arrest if publicly 
seen on the street, was forced to lodge with a friend 
outside the town and passed Commencement day in 
solitary prayer in the woods. As another attest of 
the academic fanaticism of the times, three or four 
years later two pious undergraduates, John and 
Ebenezer Cleaveland, were summarily expelled from 
Yale after refusing public confession of sin for attend- 
ing, with their parents, a Separatist meeting at home 
during vacation. 

Thus far it has been but the narrative, in the main, 
of the old-time theological severity visiting with its 
penalty an undergraduate offender. The sequel opens 
a much larger historical question: Was Brainerd' s 
expulsion the mainspring of Princeton College? 

The Rev. David Dudley Field of Haddam, member 
of the historical societies of Connecticut, Massachu- 
setts and Pennsylvania, father of the four "great" 
Fields Cyrus, layer of the first Atlantic cable, David 
Dudley, mighty in the law, Stephen, associate justice 
of the United States Supreme Court, and Henry, 
writer and editor expounds the Princeton hypothesis 
through several pages of his "Brainerd Genealogy," 
printed in 1857. Dr. Field tells us how the great 
Jonathan Edwards, who was to be president of 
Princeton, resented the severity of the Yale rulers and 
pleaded with them hard but in vain; how there were 
many eminent clergymen who sympathized with 


Brainerd and among them "Rev. Jonathan Dickinson, 
pastor of the church at Elizabethtown, N. J., and the 
Rev. Aaron Burr, pastor of the church in Newark, who 
also pleaded for Brainerd before the authorities of 
Yale College, in behalf of the Society for the Propaga- 
tion of Christian Knowledge in Foreign Parts, which 
had appointed him their missionary." And how Judge 
John Dickinson of Connecticut, nephew of Jonathan, 
had declared to him (Dr. Field) "that the establish- 
ment of Princeton College was owing to the sympathy 
felt for David Brainerd because the authorities of 
Yale College would not give him his degree and that 
the plan of the college was drawn up in his (Judge 
Dickinson's) father's house." Dr. Field adds: "I 
am certain that I have declared the precise fact that 
Judge Dickinson uttered. Nor is this the whole proof 
of the fact. There is evidence that the Rev. Aaron 
Burr said, after the rise of Princeton College, that it 
would never have come into existence but for the 
expulsion of David Brainerd from Yale College. It 
is a significant fact that three of the men who were 
conspicuous in their efforts and sympathy for Brainerd 
were the first three presidents of Princeton College 
Jonathan Dickinson, Aaron Burr, Yale 1735, and 

Jonathan Edwards, Yale 1720 Brainerd was 

expelled in the latter part of 1742 and Princeton 

College received pupils soon after All the 

members of the New York Synod were warmly 
attached to Brainerd and friendly to Princeton 

As a sidelight on the Princeton theorem, one finds 
that the Rev. Samuel Finley, afterwards president of 
Princeton College, was, under the anti-Separatist 
statute of Connecticut, twice arrested and carried out 


of the state as a vagrant for preaching in seceding 

There rests the Princeton hypothesis of evil turned 
to good and the indiscretion of a Yale Freshman and 
the gossiping tongue of a New Haven woman sowing 
the seeds of the great New Jersey university. For the 
rest, it is the brief narrative of the short but exalted 
lifework of David Brainerd himself as preacher and 
missionary a tale which fills a bulky printed volume 
of the great Edwards himself, though chiefly made up 
of Brainerd's diary. Not long after his expulsion from 
Yale, he went into mission work among the Indians 
along the upper Delaware River and continued in that 
labor after his failure to secure his Yale degree. Infirm 
of body, he yet labored incessantly and zealously and 
won respect and fame in the pulpit and as a mission 
worker. Says Dr. Field: u The amount of labor which 
he performed in the brief period of his public life, 
considering how feeble he was and how much he suf- 
fered by sickness, is absolutely astonishing." Mean- 
while he had become engaged to Jerusha Edwards, 
daughter of the great theologian, but their marriage 
never came, and October 9, 1747, in Northampton, 
Mass., he passed away at the age of twenty-nine. Such 
was the esteem in which he was held that a hundred 
years after, during a session of the General Association 
of Massachusetts at Northampton, the members in a 
body visited his grave and, standing around it, listened 
to an address on his character and labors. In the 
class list of 1743 the aching void where his name 
should be still remains. 

His name, the sad and unjust academic fate which 
overtook him, and his bright but brief life are recalled 
in our day by the recent bequest of $65,000 to the Yale 


Medical School by the late Cyprian S. Brainerd, Yale 
'50, of Haddam, direct descendant of Hezekiah, father 
of the Yale martyr to the sectarian authority of the old 


In his familiar nom de plume of "Ik Marvel," in 
his written words which so often depict with quaint 
and tender realism the sunny side of New England 
life, and in the subtle Yankee flavor which penetrates 
his lines, one can descry with something very near to 
certitude the New England extraction of Donald 
Grant Mitchell and infer that the roots of his family 
tree struck deep in the richest Puritan soil. 

Young Mitchell, a nine-year-old boy, was at school 
in Ellington, Conn., when his father died in 1831 and 
the lad remained there until he entered Yale College 
in the Class of 1841. 

The college records show no high proficiency in 
Mitchell's scholarship and his name appears in neither 
the Junior Exhibition nor the Commencement lists. 
But his literary bent in College is attested by his 
election as an editor of the Yale Literary Magazine 
and his position as class orator. Moreover, he was 
popular among his mates, a class leader, and, in his 
Senior year, a member of Skull and Bones ; and through 
his life in classroom, in the Old Brick Row and on the 
Campus the roots of loyalty to Yale struck deep, as 
attested by his devotion to her in after life. Pen- 
pictures of his college days often were drawn into his 
literary field. 

He held for a while the American consulship at 
Venice and after his return in 1855, bought, two miles 


West of New Haven, the "Edgewood" farm, which 
at once became a part of his personality in letters. 
There he lived in close rapport with nature, an ardent 
devotee of the field, forest and garden, almost 
a recluse in general habit, yet with a kindly wel- 
come for old friends. During his life at Edgewood 
and outside of his literary tasks, he did some semi- 
professional work in landscape gardening and was 
not infrequently consulted as an expert in laying 
out public and private grounds New Haven being 
especially indebted to him for the designs of her East 
Rock Park. Otherwise almost his only emergence 
from the close retirement of Edgewood was to 
deliver a few courses of lectures, to make a trip to 
Paris in 1878 as United States Commissioner to the 
World's Exhibition, to be one of the judges of indus- 
trial art at the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 at Phila- 
delphia, and to serve as a member of the Council of 
the Yale Art School, a place which he held continuously 
after 1865 until the Council was abolished in 1898. 
Almost his last appearance in public was his reading 
in the Corporation Room at Woodbridge Hall during 
Yale's Bicentennial week, of his sketch of that 
ancestral Woodbridge after whom the building is 
named. Sitting in the Yale President's chair for the 
infirmity of age did not let him stand he read a paper 
which those who heard pronounced the gem of the 
many bicentennial addresses. He received in 1878 the 
honorary degree of LL.D. from his University. 

Mr. Mitchell's larger literary work began with his 
contribution to the Albany Cultivator of letters from 
Europe during his first trip, followed soon after by a 
series of sketches, the sequels of his travel in the 
Southern states. The result of his second trip to 





Europe was made public in his "Fresh Gleanings from 
the Old Fields of Europe" and his "Battle Summer, 
or Paris in 1848," the former giving a prelude of his 
lucid simplicity of style, the latter showing that the 
rage of mad Paris was a subject ill adapted to his 
gentle pen. In his then anonymous work for The 
Lorgnette, the young writer showed also that satire 
was too heavy and harsh a weapon for him to lift in 
scoring the foibles of men even in the thin soil of 
fashionable society. 

It was not until about a year later that Mitchell 
struck his own most characteristic vein in his "Reveries 
of a Bachelor," the first of them printed to divert sus- 
picion, by its shifting of style, from the authorship of 
the articles in The Lorgnette. The earlier "Reveries" 
appeared first in the Southern Literary Messenger, 
afterwards were reprinted at the South and a little 
later (October, 1580) they reappeared in the fifth 
number and first volume of Harper's Magazine. It is 
an interesting literary fact that when, a year or two 
later, Mitchell offered the completed manuscript of 
"The Reveries" to the publishing firm of Ticknor & 
Fields it refused the work and thus lost one of the 
most profitable American volumes. Two years after 
(1854) came the companion volume, "Dream Life." 

In his home at Edgewood, made so familiar in his 
writings, Mr. Mitchell for more than fifty years lived 
in touch with nature, so close and loving that but for 
his ardor of the field and garden, more prolific labor 
would probably have been done by his pen. His 
affection for outdoor life was a passion and every phase 
and form of it was a familiar thing. He knew the lays 
of the birds, the "rustle of the bladed corn," the 
mysteries of plant life, and, until cumbered by age, 


delighted much in long tramps which made his figure 
robust, strong, white-haired, with lineaments blending 
poetic classicism with the cherubic heartiness of the 
English squire well known on the country highways 
for miles around his home. The writer of this sketch 
recalls vividly a visit to Edgewood years ago when 
Mitchell pointed out on his library table a group of 
the pyramidal shoots of the quasi vulgar "skunk's 
cabbage" transplanted to a jar and surrounded by 
moss the prose-poet pleasantly expounding how that 
abused plant, first outpost of the spring, only became 
assertive like some of human kind when molested 
and downtrodden. It is said of him that he delighted 
more in a paper on some rural theme penned for an 
agricultural journal and ill-paid or not paid for at all 
than in his articles written for the great magazines, 
and the highest agricultural critics have testified to 
the accuracy of his observations on the lore of the 
farm a trait which, when a young man, won him a 
second prize for a plan of farm buildings offered by 
the New York State Agricultural Society. To his 
absorbing love of the fields is doubtless to be attributed 
certain long gaps in his literary work, which his friends 
have frequently commented upon ere he drifted into 
his serene old age. In politics, Mr. Mitchell was a 
Democrat of the "Old Line" type but took no active 
part in public affairs. 


The history of Yale, as College and University, has 
reached through two centuries and more. The history 
of Grove Street Cemetery has reached through over 
one century. There was thus almost a century during 
a period when it was a hard and unpleasant task to 
carry the college dead away from New Haven, and 
when they passed from life to the old semicircular 
burying ground that filled an area of several acres in 
the center of New Haven Green and covered the site 
on which Center Church now stands. Thus Yale owns, 
in fact, two Westminsters, an old and, relatively 
speaking, a new. The older Westminster on the Green 
still holds the sacred dust of many of her earlier 
graduates, some of them not without renown. But 
when, in 1821, their memorials were removed to the 
burial lots in the "God's Acre" on Grove Street, the 
two Westminsters, in every outward sense, may be said 
to have merged in one. 

In the first beginnings of the Grove Street burying 
ground, as well as in what may be called the transition 
period between it and the ancient churchyard on the 
Green, the name and influence of Yale figure con- 
spicuously. It was James Hillhouse, Yale 1773, 
Treasurer of the College, member of the lower house 
of Congress, United States Senator, and commemo- 
rated in New Haven not merely by her stately plant 
of elms, but by many other tokens of public munificence 
and enterprise, who first suggested the purchase in 


1796 of the field of six acres on which, as a basic plot, 
the larger Grove Street Cemetery has been built up; 
and joined with him were thirty-one citizens of the 
town, many of whose names are to be found starred 
on the Yale Triennial. A little later the six acres were 
increased to ten for the purpose, as the old record 
recites, of obtaining a burial ground "larger, better 
arranged for the accommodation of families, and by 
its retired situation, better calculated to impress the 
mind with a solemnity becoming the repository of the 
dead." Mr. Hillhouse had, at first, planned a family 
burying ground on his own property. But happening 
to see the neglect into which a private burying ground 
once belonging to a branch of his house had fallen in 
the ownership of strangers, he planned the new burial 
place with its special provision for family lots and 
said to be the first of its kind on our continent. It 
was due, undoubtedly, to this provision that the Yale 
dead in the cemetery have, to a considerable number, 
been grouped in the two "college lots" so-called. 
Each of the thirty-two founders, with James Hill- 
house at the head, subscribed fourteen dollars for 
purchase money and expenses; and, a year later 
(1797), they were made a corporation by the Connec- 
ticut General Assembly. 

At the first meeting of the new corporation lots 
were gratuitously set apart "one to the President and 
Fellows of Yale College, one to each of the Eccle- 
siastical Societies then existing, one for the burial of 
strangers dying in the city, three for the poor who 
should die not owning lots, and one to people of 
color" ; and, a year after, a lot was given to President 
Dwight of Yale and another lot to Professor Meigs, 
who had aided in surveying the ground. In that sur- 


vey, it may be added, a young graduate of the Class 
of 1795, Jeremiah Day, afterwards to be President 
of Yale, carried the chain. 

The first college lot is a few rods immediately to 
the right of the present entrance and must have been 
nearly in front of the old gateway to the ground. The 
lot is an irregular oblong in shape, some sixty-five feet 
in length and averaging perhaps twenty feet in width. 
With fitting symbolism it is aligned with the lots given 
to the New Haven churches, attesting, as it would 
seem not by accident, the spiritual blood which flowed 
through the academic veins. Church and College were 
together in life, and in death they were not divided. 
It is more singular that in the living Yale's march 
northward the old college lot is now brought almost 
under the eaves of the great Dining Hall, the lineal 
successor of the tempestuous Commons of the eight- 
eenth century and not without some recent troubles of 
its own. 

The lot is crowded with Yale monuments, some 
twenty-five in number, and none of them recent. Not 
one of them is striking or ornate, but many of them 
are dignified, whether recumbent or reared in that 
familiar ancestral type of u box" monument made of 
slabs and hollow within in which the rectangular 
apex crests the thick, low shaft; and all are nicely 
aligned and their shapes, cut in coarse but enduring 
marble, well preserved. As a whole the ancient 
academic plot, while meager as to its area, is impres- 
sive. Its mortuary keynotes are tenax propositi, 
endurance, consistency, and the rigid unyielding traits 
of the Yale ancestors who, each under his somber and 
inflexible stone, seem ready to rise up and, like Colonel 
Newcome, say adsum when his name is called. 


Of the Yale Presidents, all who bore that title 
Clap, Daggett, Stiles, Dwight, Day, Woolsey, and 
Porter either lie buried in Grove Street Cemetery 
or have their monuments within its bounds. Of these 
only the monument of Stiles is in the old college lot, 
though President Dwight rests in the original family 
lot adjoining and a few feet away. The stone of 
Yale's second titular President, Naphtali Daggett, in 
the family lot, a few rods to the northward, bears the 
simplest of inscriptions, recording merely his birth, 
death, pastorship of the church at Smithtown, L. I., 
his professorship of divinity and his college presidency. 
Not so the more ambitious stone in the college lot of 
President Stiles, erected by the Corporation to Yale's 
many-sided administrator and the intellectual democrat 
of his time, whose inscription in prolix Latin, tells us 
of honors, fame, greatness in church and in learning 
and "Per terras honore habitus" who passed away 
"Lacrymis Omnium" Hard by is the stone of D. 
Jabez Backus, student in the College, dying at the age 
of seventeen, a little more than a year before President 
Stiles, who gave the Latin for the epitaph of a youth 
"Subita morte peremptus" after a short life, promising 
rich fruits. Striking the same note of undergraduate 
pathos is the monument to "Alfred E. Clarke, Point 
Coupee, Louisiana," a Junior in the College. The dim 
letters tell how "strangers watched the death-bed of 
this loved youth and wept over his early grave," while 
"his bereaved parents in a distant land anticipate with 
hope the glorious morning when the grave shall give 
up their dead." The most ambitious stone in the 
enclosure is a large red stone sarcophagus, which in the 
briefest terms records "N. Smith, Professor of Medi. 
and Surgery in Yale College" a man whose fame, 


as pioneer in his science, does not suffer because 
unlettered in Latin superlatives. 

Around one stone in the ancient lot hang the sad 
memories of a college tragedy. The marble tells of 
the death in 1 843 of Tutor John Breed Dwight, Yale 
1840, a grandson of the first President Dwight, and 
the story of whose death is unwritten in the Yale 
histories and is only told in the dingy files of the local 
newspapers of the time. On the night of September 
30, 1843, there was a disturbance on the Campus 
caused by an attack of Sophomores on Freshmen. The 
students were dispersed by the authorities, but a little 
later a group of Sophomores gathered to renew the 
fray. Young Dwight tried to quell the disturbance, 
and while drawing a young Sophomore, seventeen years 
old, toward a light for identification, was stabbed twice 
by him in the thigh with a dirk knife. The Sophomore, 
son of a wealthy Philadelphian, fled to his home and 
was forthwith expelled from the College. Tutor 
Dwight's wounds were not deemed dangerous and were 
almost healed when fever set in and he died on October 
20. The Sophomore came back to stand trial, and, 
after a preliminary hearing in which Doctor Knight, 
the attending surgeon, testified in doubtful terms as 
to the connection between the wounds and the fever 
was bound over under $5,000 bonds for trial in the 
following January on the charge of assault with intent 
to murder. Illness was pleaded for non-appearance 
at the January term, the bond was forfeited and there 
the record ends, save only a set of resolutions of the 
Sophomore Class regretting the act and declaring that, 
as a class, it will "frown" on the carrying of concealed 

With the new burial ground in use, the old church- 


yard on the Green fell into disuse and into unsightly 
shabbiness, and the question of a transfer of its stones 
to the Grove Street lot was mooted actively. That the 
plan found its foes is proved in the faded leaflets which 
tell of a meeting in the New Haven County House 
May 31, 1815, to protest against any intrusion on 
the old graves by the foundations of the new Center 
Church, and "178 persons, the remains of whose kin- 
dred have been deposited in said ground," register their 
plea against encroachment and promise to "adopt and 
forward means for a suitable enclosure about the 
ground." But seven years later the old burying ground 
being "wholly neglected," the city itself acted. It 
bought three acres more on Grove Street, gave in the 
northwest corner of the cemetery a new lot to the 
College, and on June 26, 1821, began with solemn 
ceremonial the transit of the old stones to the new 
burying place. There was a characteristic service in 
crowded Center Church; hymns, "Hark! from the 
Tombs a doleful sound" and "How long shall Death 
a tyrant reign," with a funeral address by Abraham 
Bishop (Yale 1778) ; then President Day, assisted by 
other college officers, began the removal of the quaint 
old stones, some twenty in number, over the graves of 
the undergraduate dead whose families had no other 
resting places in the new grounds ; and the ancient moss- 
grown slabs were set up again in the southwest corner 
of the second college lot, its first and most fitting 

It is on that undergraduate corner with its humble 
mementoes of Yale's young dead of the eighteenth 
century, most of them forgotten even by their own 
families and kin, that the eye pauses. The oldest 
lichen-covered stone tells us that 








1748, AETATIS SUAE 23. 

Flendi quae causa est 

Si tantum a morte tenetur lutum, 

Animam interea 

Christus complectitur almus? 

While the stone of Phinehas White, "Collegii Yalensis 
Alumnus," who died in 1796, aged 22, passes on this 
post-mortuary warning across the centuries : 

Oh ! Had kind Heav'n allow'd a larger date ! 
So short his warning and so swift his fate 
Ye young ye Gay attend this speaking stone 
Think on his fate and tremble at your own 

That student corner of Yale's Westminster, with its 
twenty undergraduate stones of the eighteenth century, 
wakens deeper pathos than the nearby Yale memorials 
of the later and greater dead whose time was fully lived 
out. Here the young fruit blasted, there the fruit 
ripened in its fall! Vision turns back to the far-away 
century and notes the average type of student life which 
the old stones suggest to fancy: Perchance some lad 
on the niggard New England farm fired with ambition 
which overcomes the parental scruple of poverty; the 
hard study, after chores, by the tallow dip; the few 
months of crude Greek and Latin under the country 


minister; the hard struggle into College; a year or 
two of faithful work; a sudden fever ill cared for; a 
quick passing and then these many years of rest. 

The second or greater Yale burial plot is some one 
hundred feet by sixty feet in size, including an addition 
made in 1835 by purchase of the College, and is partly 
held in private ownership. Altogether it contains 
about sixty stones, recording some of Yale's most 
illustrious dead. None of the Presidents lie in the lot. 
But among its sleepers are Leonard Bacon, the Nestor 
of his church; the two Gibbs, father and son, the one 
strong in theology, the other more mighty in mathe- 
matics; Larned, in an earlier Yale time in charge of 
her department of rhetoric; and Marsh, over whose 
recent grave the University has placed a block of 
Quincy granite which forms a lower base measuring 
7 x 4^ feet. This is capped by a heavily moulded 
block of red Scotch granite, and on the side facing the 
street is a bronze tablet with the inscription : 




Professor of Paleontology in Yale University, 1866-1899. 

President of National Academy of Sciences, 1883-1895. 

Eminent as Explorer, Collector, and Investigator 

in Science. 

To Yale University he gave his Services, his 
Collection, and his Estate. 

In the same lot lie Birdsey Grant Northrop, Yale 
1841, pioneer and promoter in New England village 


improvement; Mary A. Goodwin, who "of African 
descent gave the earnings of her life to educate men 
of her own color in Yale College for the Gospel min- 
istry"; and a suggestion of Yale's new ties with the 
Orient appears in the stone to Kakichi Senta, who died 
May 17, 1892. Hard by, just to the north of the lot, 
under a large sarcophagal monument of brown stone, 
rests Joseph Earl Sheffield, his grave overlooked by 
the line of massive buildings of the Yale school that 
bears his name. 

It is a strange post-mortuary happening which has 
laid almost side by side on the same street of the dead 
in the southwestern part of the cemetery a group of 
Yale's most famous alumni. Within a space of seventy 
feet, fronting the pathway, lie Noah Webster, Yale 
1778, the lexicographer; Eli Whitney, Yale 1792, 
maker of the cotton-gin, whose invention swerved 
American history; Lyman Beecher, Yale 1797, famed 
preacher of his time and father of Beechers more 
famed, who in accord with his lifelong wish was laid 
by the side of Professor N. W. Taylor, Yale 1807, 
herald of a new and more sunlit theology; and Noah 
Porter, 1831, President of the University. Where in 
this country, on a span of turf so narrow, will be found 
the gravestones of a group of men so renowned? And 
not far away rests Jedediah Morse, Yale 1783, father 
of American geography, and, as sire of Samuel F. B. 
Morse, Yale 1810, grandfather of telegraphy. 

Many are the famous dead of Yale, in other parts 
of her Westminster, most of them resting among their 
kindred. A few rods from the striking group men- 
tioned lies Theodore Winthrop, 1848, the young and 
gifted novelist, who fell at Big Bethel, one of the first 
of the prominent martyrs of the Civil War. The large 


red sandstone of Yale's first titular President, u the 
Reverend and Learned Mr. Thomas Clap," letters the 
virtues of one for "near 27 years Laborious and Pain- 
full President of the College" and carries as annexed 
and capitalized epitaph: "Death! Great Proprietor 
of all, 'tis thine to tread out empires and to quench 
the stars." Near the north wall, under a handsome 
sarcophagus of Scotch granite, lies President Woolsey. 
The stones of Whitney, Dana, Silliman and Newton 
bear names eminent in learning on two continents, and 
under a plain oblong of granite rests Thomas Anthony 
Thacher, after "a life spent to its end in earnest and 
loving work for Yale College and its students." Nor, 
without the "passing tribute of a sigh," should one go 
by the grave of Denison Olmsted, Yale 1813, Pro- 
fessor of Natural Philosophy and active worker for 
the cemetery, where he lies in sad comradeship with 
five sons, all passing by consumption as young men, the 
oldest counting but thirty-four years. Finally, among 
Yale senators, governors and minor men of state, 
should not be passed by the name of Aaron N. Skinner, 
Yale 1823, four times mayor of New Haven and head 
of a famous school. If Hillhouse was the founder of 
Yale's Westminster, Skinner was its builder, who 
rescued it from decay, who for years watched and 
planned for trees, for new layouts, for the massive 
wall, who designed the impressive Egyptian gateway 
and whose own stately stone erected by fellow citizens, 
pupils and friends deserves as fit epitaph si monu- 
mentum quaris, cir cum spice. 

Within the seventeen acres of the Grove Street city 
of the dead are more than twelve thousand graves; 
and, among their silent inmates, of those who are clari, 
clariores et clarissimi Yale claims almost every one. 




On sward and base line gleams the sun, 
Across the field the cloud shades stray, 
And airy fingers of the breeze, 
Along the rustling tree-tops play. 
Southward afar, o'er leafy tips, 
Blend sky and sea and sun-lit ships. 

No murmur from the steepled town. 
No echo from the Westering hill. 
Save when the silence bursts in sound 
And college cry and chorus fill 
The welkin, with their cheery call 
To prowess of the bat and ball. 

Ripples of crimson, waves of blue, 
In tide of vibrant colors stream, 
Where the massed faces, row on row, 
Incarnate a fantastic dream 
Of a great human harp, that flings 
Its rival notes from quivering strings. 

The pageant dims; the shoutings die. 
From field and base the players fade. 
What forms are these that through the mist 
Of memory, sport in phantom shade? 
Each at his old-time post of play, 
Lo 1 the Old Nine is here today. 


Blithe striplings then; bowed greybeards now. 
For them no more the rapturous thrill, 
When hard-wrung victory bent, to crown 
The fielder's art; the batsman's skill, 
And all the world was far away 
At close of our triumphant day. 

Varied the symbols we have penned, 
On Time's great score card mazy lines 
Of Honor, Error, Joy and Woe, 
And here and there the mystic signs 
That mark how some old player sleeps, 
And Death his fateful tally keeps. 

The vision passes; rings again 
The college cheer and echoing song. 
But still the veterans wait to hear, 
In sunset shadows waxing long, 
The Mighty Umpire's final call 
Of "out" in the last game of all. 



The grey-haired graduate of Yale who contrasts, 
mentally and visually, American college athletics today 
with college sports of the early seventies sees in the 
foreground much of the difference between a mechan- 
ism and recreative fun. This is the main contrast. 
But another difference, like unto it, was found in the 
old generality of sports. Yet in the very early 
seventies at Yale there were no track athletics; tennis 
was at low terms; golf was undreamed of as an 
American sport and known only as a term with a trans- 
Atlantic echo; and, as what would be called today 
major sports, there were only baseball and boating. 
A throng of undergraduates usually gathered after 
supper at the old boathouse hard by Tomlinson 
bridge to see the Varsity Six go out and come in; 
while each afternoon and evening found on the harbor 
and the Quinnipiac a goodly flotilla of purely recreative 
craft. The earlier rival boating clubs the Varuna 
and Glyuna had expired. But their traditions of 
boating as a sport were still strong. Within such 
narrow limits there was a recreative and wide quality 
that by comparison left the intense college athletic 
system of these times out of sight. And, through it 
all, coupled necessarily with its measure of rivalry, ran 
the real fun-loving spirit of the game. 

In seeking causes of that old-time athletic generality, 
the bearing upon it of the "required" system of study 


is not to be overlooked. The rigid scheme of recita- 
tions with small dilutions of lectures in Junior and 
Senior years called for three classroom exercises a 
week except for omission on Wednesday and Saturday 
afternoons the halcyon half-holidays. There was 
no elective or group plan that allowed the under- 
graduates so to elect courses as to reduce them to an 
athletic basis and leave free several afternoons of the 
week. Thus there was less actual time for athletics; 
and with a recitation due for four days in the week 
inexorably at five o'clock in the afternoon there was 
in those four days scant time for getting one's after- 
noon lesson, for the trip back and forth to the field 
or boathouse and also for the practice on the diamond 
or in the shell. As to boating, indeed, some of it came 
after the six o'clock supper. 

But the old scholastic regimen, as a promoter of 
sports, had its compensations. It released the classes 
for sports all at once on the bi-weekly half-holidays. 
Five hundred men in the four classes were, so to 
speak, synchronized for recreation if they wanted it 
and the recreative habit thus was collective and inten- 
sified rather than distributive and had all the force 
of collective and pent-up energy. Wednesday and 
Saturday afternoons with their freedom from the 
classroom thus became in a sense dedicated to the habit 
of recreation, while at the same time insufficient for 
out-of-town absenteeism. Athletics were part of a 
homogeneous scheme which brought classes together. 
In any comparison of old and modern athletics at Yale 
this stimulus to general recreation based on harmony 
of college exercises must be allowed for. But even if 
it is allowed for, the contrasts remain striking. 

It is the spirit of the old sports of Yale which the 


graduate of forty years gone has of late years so sadly 
missed. It may best be instanced, perhaps, in baseball, 
where modern scientific play saying nothing of com- 
mercialism has been dearly bought at the cost of the 
old breeziness and all-round fun. Curved pitching and 
the close play behind the bat in the early seventies had 
not come in. There was one stripling, Cummings of 
the Star Club of Brooklyn, who was a pioneer exponent 
of the curve cleverly disguised as an underhand throw. 
For the rest it was "straight arm" pitching or, more 
strictly, a toss rarely of much speed. Hence free 
hitting in most superlative terms, the swift grounder, 
the clean "daisy cutter," the far-away rocket parabola 
to the remote outfield, the frequent home run, the big 
scores but with many ups and downs. At the annual 
game alone was a gate fee (fifty cents) charged. 
Coaches, training tables, Easter trips and the whole 
costly outfit of up-to-date Yale baseball were unknown 
in that amateur epoch. The recorded cost of one 
whole baseball season was but $862, most of it raised 
by undergraduate subscription. 

That old college baseball of course lacked in modern 
superfine niceties. There was no coaching from the 
bench, no signals, no "squeeze" plays. But it was a 
game of individualities, of self-reliance and quick 
judgments. Mechanically imperfect and scientifically 
immature, it had the charm of the personal equations. 
And through it all ran deep the non-professional and 
non-commercial motif. 

Hardly second in college interest to the university 
matches were those of the college classes. It was 
somewhere in the later sixties that somebody, now 
unremembered, gave the College a class flag to be 
battled for in baseball. It was an ornate blue silk 


banner bearing the college device, as now recalled, 
mounted on a rosewood staff and rich in ornate frills. 
No later contests with Harvard and Princeton have 
brought out sharper rivalry than those which focussed 
around that banner. One curious incident of the class 
games for the trophy is here recalled. Our pitcher, 
a bulky, round-headed and hard-headed classmate, was 
hit on the head by a sharp liner straight from the bat. 
The ball "lively" in those days and more charged 
with rubber than now bounded sidewise on the fly 
to the third baseman's hands and the batsman was 
u out" under the rules, leaving the pitcher none the 

A year or two later the champion class flag dis- 
appeared from the class captain's room. Rumor and 
precedent assigned it a home in one of the "tombs" 
of the secret societies. 

The general interest of the early seventies in out- 
door recreation extended to boating. Not a few of the 
undergraduates owned their single shells or pair-oars; 
and the large boathouse and float just this side of 
Belle Dock where rowing and sailing were for hire 
depended almost entirely on student custom. "Every 
boat out" was a familiar dictum of the proprietor on 
any Wednesday or Saturday afternoon of balmy 
weather and sunshine. With five times as many 
students in Yale now as there were then is there a 
public boathouse on the harbor or Lake Whitney that 
can claim equal patronage? 

Such memories of the Yale athletics of four decades 
ago serve not only to point out the later evils, but to 
welcome their coming abatement denoted by the evident 
firm resolve of the Alumni Advisory board to reduce 
the athletic intensities, broaden out sports for the 


undergraduate multitude, big letter pure sport and 
expunge pure rivalry, and on the enlarged Yale Field 
open any day recreation to the everyday man of the 
Campus. The old simplicities, the limitations and the 
primal spirit of the sports of the early seventies can 
obviously never again be fully renewed. 



The New Haven of the later sixties was a relatively 
small and sprawling municipality that centered thickly 
along the immediate shore, around the Green and in 
the region between the Green and Mill River. West- 
ward, Northward and Southward it was but a step 
from the Campus to spacious lots which opened them- 
selves hospitably to the ball player. Among those old 
sporting fields, the ancient Campus naturally holds 
earliest place. From time out of mind it appears to 
have been not merely an area of college play but a kind 
of battlefield of Faculty and undergraduate where 
authority has wrestled with the pent-up physical energy 
of sportive youth tempted by greensward level ground 
and nearby open spaces. As far back at least as the 
year 1765 the ancient "statuta" of the College tell us 
in the Latin how "Siquis Pila pedali vel palmeria, aut 
globis, in area academica laserit .... multetur non 
plus sex denariis et damna resarciat" which informs 
us, by translation, not only that the undergraduate 
played ball with foot and hand a hundred and fifty 
years ago, but was interdicted as to those sports in the 
college yard under penalty of making good the damage 
and incurring a maximum fine of sixpence. But pre- 
sumptively then, as in later times, there was latitude 
in the written rule and its spirit rather than rigid form 
prevailed. The undergraduate might indulge the 
"laserit" but not too vigorously or on too collective a 


scale; he might "pass" the hand ball but not bat it or 
play matches; he might use on the Campus the antique 
equivalent of "punt" but not of scrimmage or mass 
play; he might be playfully recreative but not violent 
or aggressive in a way to "damnify" the academic 
window panes. Such ancestral policy toward Campus 
sports may at any rate be inferred both from the 
Campus conditions and the modern attitude of the 

The real playground of the college youth with their 
names starred long ago in the Triennial Catalogue was, 
undoubtedly, the Green in the days far before asphalt 
walk, lawn mowers and grass-grown restraints of the 
city fathers. The tales of the mighty football scrim- 
mages of Yale classes on the Green coming down as 
late as the fifties attest the high function of the Green 
as a minister of college sports. And fancy today may 
look enviously back to the times when right at Yale's 
frontal gates was a big playground barred by no decree 
or limitation of time or distance. 

The extinction of football on the Green in the fifties 
and the rise of baseball a few years later bring the 
playgrounds of the College within the sweep of direct 
memory. In the sixties the city was still a contracted 
municipality. There was a public swimming beach 
where now stand the railroad shops, college boat races 
were started under the present solidities of Seaside 
Park and a brief trudge from the Campus took the 
ball player South, North and West to big and free open 
spaces. The nearest was the "Elm Street lot" on the 
South just beyond the present Christ Church, not so 
smooth as a floor nor so broad as a Western prairie, 
but big enough for the democratic football play of the 


time and for baseball in which batting ambition soared 
no higher than a two-base hit. 

Northward and just beyond Broadway a broader 
reach of vacant lots opened, two or three of them large 
enough for football; and a step farther still, was the 
"Ashmun Street lot" where the University nine of that 
day habitually practiced and now and then played 
minor matches. The Ashmun Street ground was 
hardly an ideal ball field by the modern standard; its 
surface was wavy and humpy, disconcerting to fielders; 
its backstop was a broken board fence shutting off some 
low tenements among which high fouls dropped per- 
sistently and many a ball got lost, strayed or stolen; 
and to the right, across Ashmun Street, was the 
cemetery into which other foul balls dropped, bounding 
erratically among the tombs and entailing hard and 
cooperative climb of the high stone wall. But the field 
was but ten minutes' walk from the Campus, it gave 
room for double ball games, it was rent free and it 
served in a period when baseball training was neither 
acute nor exacting and when fun and fine recreation 
were at the front of college athletics. 

Like unto it in quality of surface and soil but much 
more expansive and also much farther away were the 
"Hospital lot" just south of the New Haven Hospital 
and the "Congress Avenue lot" some half a mile 
beyond. Both these conditioned a brisk and pretty 
long walk from the Campus. But both were available 
for the half-holidays of Saturday and Wednesday 
afternoons that in those days broke the stiff weekly 
curriculum of required study; and both were used for 
intercollegiate matches or games with leading out-of- 
town nines. The Hospital lot itself, fairly level, hard- 
soiled, zigzagged by footpaths, larger in area than 


New Haven Green, was a vast unbroken square 
expanse owning its half-dozen rough diamonds, where 
almost as many matches might be in progress at once. 
It and its three contemporaries on Congress Avenue, 
Elm and Ashmun Streets are now lost under the thick 
dwellings of the spreading city and the reminiscent eye 
seeks their original bounds in vain. 

It was in the last half-decade of the sixties that 
Hamilton Park came to the fore as Yale's playground 
and held its place until superseded by the new Yale 
Field some fifteen years later. The Park, indeed, 
served so long as an arena of academic skill and muscle 
as to reach a kind of athletic classicism and be girt 
about by rich traditions of prowess and victory. It had 
two ample fields within the race track, each semi- 
elliptical often flooded and used as skating ponds o' 
winters not with sandpapered diamonds, yet level and 
smooth even if tested by ideals of our present baseball 
days, a half-hour's walk from the Campus and of two- 
thirds that time by the sluggish horse car. An embryo 
fence of a single rail demarcated the race track from the 
field and marked the bound past which the hard-hit ball 
assured a home run. Nor did the Park lack natural 
beauty with its westward grove of chestnuts, the West- 
ville hills beyond and the overlooking face of West 
Rock suffused with mellow sunbeams or glooming 
shade. For a number of years the rent of the Park was 
nominal and all but the more important ball games free. 
But on a field not held in Yale ownership, there was 
no care for structural improvements, and save for a 
pigmy stand behind catcher, spectators, sometimes 
numbering thousands, stood or squatted in the great 
human wedge paralleling the upper base lines and with 
no barrier but the restraining ropes. The Yale nine 


shared the Park with state professional baseball 
leagues and the enclosure had its vicarious and 
occasional uses as a fair ground. 

In the early eighties reports of the coming dissection 
of the Park into building lots forced the Yale Athletic 
managers to consider purchase of new grounds and 
the present Yale Field was the outcome, purchased in 
1882 for $22,000 and with $31,000 expended for 
immediate improvements, including grading. Since 
then there has probably been spent upon it $150,000 
more, the Field probably represented a total outlay 
of not less than $200,000 attesting the present 
magnitudes of athletics and more funds needed still 
for grading the southwest angle. Though the life story 
of the Field now spans almost thirty years, the features 
of it, with their sharp punctuations of athletic episodes, 
are too familiar to need review. The Field which 
seemed three decades ago so big and adaptable to 
future Yale generations is even now cramped and 
outgrown; and the urgency expressed by ex-President 
Dwight in one of his later annual reports for a minor 
field nearer the Campus retains its force. But it is 
apparently vetoed by the high cost of New Haven 
land unless, indeed, relaxation of the terms of the 
Hillhouse place contract gives room for those phases 
of baseball which are minor and not intercollegiate. 
They were not ideal fields. There was fertility of 
hummock and u nub," a billowy and marine layout on 
all of them but Hamilton Park, and even a hand-roller, 
much more a lawn mower, was a thing of the future. 
But to objections to the lesions of the soil by visiting 
teams, the phrase "as fair for one side as t'other" 
covered a multitude of sins. And if the ball struck an 



impediment and leaped shortstop's head, the incident 
was lost in the shuffle of many errors less pardonable. 

Exact dates of the old rules of play and of their 
changes are lost in the fogs of time. But certainly up 
to the earlier seventies the first bound was "out" on 
fouls; and up to the middle sixties first bound was out 
on fair flies too. Fielders and, for that matter, the 
catcher rarely risked a fly catch if it were possible to 
evade it, and the uncertainties of the first bound, due 
to vagaries of the ground, made it an exciting gamble 
for player and spectator alike, especially after a hard 
and long run. It gave a positive vantage to the home 
team, familiar with the density of the soil, and on that 
"first bound" the lively and elastic ball of the period, 
filled with rubber, was eccentric and deceptive, espe- 
cially to the catcher when he had to allow for the foul 
backward twist. On a soft field the first bound was 
low and pigmy; on a hard field it might if a high 
foul jump the catcher's head by six feet 'mid the 
derision of the spectators. Any long fly catch in the 
outfield was one of the red-lettered feats of the game. 

For several reasons batting was free and easy. In 
the first place, the batsman faced no curved pitching. 
He took aim at the straight, tossed ball and struck 
with his full might. In the second place, the bats were 
big, long, semi- u pudding sticks" of soft pine, white- 
wood or spruce, constantly breaking, but pretty sure 
to find the ball. Moreover, strikes were called not by 
any fixed rule but at the umpire's option, only exercised 
when he thought a cowardly or too fastidious batsman 
was letting too many good balls go by; and, finally, 
the lively ball of the period had a "jumping" quality 
and pace that constantly tempted hard hitting and 
usually got it. Old players of today not seldom raise 


the question how much farther, if any, the lively ball 
of those archaic days was driven as a "sky" hit than 
the "dead," up-to-date ball hit by the hard-wood bat. 
In the writer's opinion, there wasn't much real differ- 
ence. The real difference was in the speed of the old 
lively ball and the pace and distance of its roll once 
it got by a fielder, which made the home run almost 
commonplace. On Hamilton Park in those old days 
over and over again an infield bounder got its home 
run after an outfielder's miss or fumble. 

The University nine was chosen on novel lines. 
Stalwart hitting was a prime essential not, by the 
way, quite valueless in a Yale nine today and fielding 
was rather secondary, though a strong and accurate 
thrower was appraised pretty high. The outcome was 
a team of giants, gifted at smiting tremendous "sky 
scrapers," but weak at other points and rudimentary in 
team play and in every refinement of the game. There 
was no preliminary training, if a few hours of early 
spring work in the Gymnasium be counted out. On no 
New Haven field was there a stand to seat spectators, 
and the first use of a rope to keep them back at a "big" 
game was deemed a vexing and dangerous novelty. 

Position play was unique and would rouse the mirth 
of the baseballist of today. Long trousers were part 
of the conventional college uniform and not until the 
late sixties did knickerbockers come in. The catcher, 
maskless, padless and gloveless, stood several feet 
behind the batsman when a runner was on first base 
and if he caught him on throw to second base, the 
runner was hooted as a sluggard. Not until the early 
seventies did Catcher Bentley Yale '73 seek mild 
protection from the dental chair by a big square of 
rubber held in the teeth a device copied from the 


Harvard catcher of that date. For a left-handed bats- 
man, the shortstop crossed over to a point between 
first and second bases and the third baseman took short- 
stop's place or one very near it. The pitcher was but 
forty-five feet in front of the batsman, yet for some 
occult reason didn't insure his life. In general field 
play, the three basemen hugged their bags much closer 
than now. Outfielders stood considerably farther 
beyond the diamond, recognizing the values of an out 
on first bound. It was in a game between the Harvard 
nine and a Massachusetts club that a hard-hit ball, 
striking within the diamond, was caught on the deadly 
first bound by a left fielder but Boston Common, 
where the game was played, was hard as the Puritan 
conscience and the ball may have struck a u nub" of the 
rigid soil. Team play was, of course, in its rudiments. 
There was a gentle hint of "backing up" and very 
rarely a double play at the expense of a careless runner 
waked the enthusiasm of the standing, sitting and 
squatting crowd in days before bleachers were dreamed 
of. But team play ended there and waited several 
years for even moderate development by the famous 
professional "Red Stockings" of Cincinnati. 

A red-lettered game of Yale was that played June 6, 
1868, at Hamilton Park, with the Union Club of 
Morrisania, then champions of the country. Ten 
innings were needed to give the champions victory, by 
a score of 16 to 14, and the game would have been 
tied again but for an error of the umpire in mis- 
judging a ball as "dead." Of the return game at 
Morrisania, the score is at hand, clipped from a New 
York sporting paper, and is reprinted in full as an 
example of the best type of scoring of the period the 
upright columns indicating in their order, left on bases, 


fly catches, outs and runs, and the foul bound catch 
being out as was the first bound of a fair ball at a 
slightly earlier time: 

YALE L. F. o. R. UNION L. F. o. R. 

Buck, 1st b., 




Goldie, 1st b., 




Lewis, r.f., 




Austin, c.f., 




Condit, l.f., 





Ayres, s.s., 




Cleveland, 3d 




Pabor, P., 



Hooker, P., 



Wright, 2d b., 





McCutchen, s.s., 



Birdsall, C., 




McClintock, r 





Shelley, 3d b. 



Deming, C., 




Reynolds, r.f., 



Selden, 2d b., 



Smith, l.f., 




Totals, 4 11 27 9 Totals, 2 13 27 19 

INNINGS, 123456789 

Yale, 2210111109 

Union, 21222025 319 

Umpire. Mr. Grum of the Eckford Club. 
Scorers. Messrs. Wood and Lush. 
Time of Game. Two hours, twenty-five minutes. 
Flycatches. Yale, 11; Union, 13. 
Foul Boundcatches. Yale, 3; Union, 2. 
Catches on Strikes. Yale, 1; Union, 1. 
Outs on Fouls. Yale, 9 times; Union, 5 times. 
Outs on Bases. Yale, 11 times; Union, 12 times. 
Times First-base on Hits. Yale, 10 times; Union, 20 times. 
Times First-base on Errors. Yale, 5 times; Union, 3 times. 
Total Bases on Balls. Yale, times ; Union, 1 time. 
Total Bases on Hits. Yale, 13; Union, 22. 
Total Errors of Play. Yale, 15; Union, 20. 
Left after Clean Hits. Condit, 1 ; Hooker, 1 ; McCutchen, 

Fancy, in our days of scientific baseball, the scoring 
in print of strikes caught and the professional cham- 
pions of the country making twenty errors in a game ! 


Yet, that game at Morrisania now in Greater New 
York in June of 1868, was not classed as a loose one. 

The game was autumnal as well as a warm weather 
sport and some of the most exciting matches were 
played in October. A return match with the Water- 
burys bears date of November 2, 1867, when there was 
ice on the pools and years before the glove came in to 
warm and cushion the epidermis. Hospitality was one 
of the keynotes of the sport and the nine was reckoned 
barbaric that didn't entertain the visiting team at a 
post-game dinner. Interchange of courtesies took also 
the form of mutual gifts of silken badges with the 
imprint of the club name. Veteran players bunched 
or spread the badges on their chests with effects 
varigated, spectacular and, aesthetically, humorous. 

Town as well as gown had its baseball teams. There 
were the Quinnipiacs, made up mainly from New 
Haven young men of trade; and, more noteworthy, 
the Mutuals, organized with six nines, chiefly from the 
schoolboys of the town, whose first nine, with its oldest 
player counting but seventeen years, beat most of the 
Yale class teams. Three of the Mutuals, as Freshmen, 
in one year "made" the University nine. 

There were episodes and incidents without number. 
It was at Andover School, then, as now, a big Yale 
feeder, that the graduating school class of '67 
headed for Yale '71 had in it three fine ball players, 
one of them "Archie" Bush, sure catch, hard hitter, 
swift runner and well-nigh unerring in judgment, 
perhaps the best player of his time, amateur or pro- 
fessional. Just at the close of its last school year the 
class went on a diluted spree to a nearby city. "Uncle 
Sam" Taylor, headmaster of the school, a Spartan in 
discipline as he was in Greek irregular verbs, expelled 


the whole class and called on the Yale authorities to 
sustain his edict. The Yale Faculty did so, but Har- 
vard, more sensible and liberal, took the class in; and 
Yale, as a sequel, lost the baseball championship to 
Harvard for four years. It was Bush's tremendous 
hit in the game of 1871 over left fielder's head that 
won the game in the last inning and when a sad Yale 
proverb "out of the woods but not of the Bush" had 
its final application. Bush, on graduating from Har- 
vard, insisted successfully against Yale's protest that 
the Varsity nine, before limited to the Academic 
Department, should be open to the scientific and pro- 
fessional schools there were one or two strong 
players of Bush's great nine who were to pass to Har- 
vard's schools. It gave Harvard victory next year, 
but the year after 1874 a fine Yale catcher came 
back to New Haven in the Law School and in two 
games broke Harvard's long roll of baseball victory. 

The New York firm of Peck & Snyder was the fore- 
runner of the Spalding of today as a baseball empo- 
rium. About the year 1868 they sent up to the nine 
a curio in bats for a try out. It was a novelty as a hard 
wood ash stick; and for several inches, beginning 
two or three inches from its bigger end, it was cut 
lengthwise by a saw into quadrants. Its theory was 
an elastic hit and it had the humorous quality of a 
weird staccato when it took the ball. But nobody on 
the nine before or since could make the bat work except 
one day, when in a game with the champion profes- 
sionals at the Union Grounds, Brooklyn, "Tom" 
Hooker, Yale pitcher, took the odd bat, caught the 
ball just right and hit to far right field a ball which 
for distance was said to be the record hit of those 


Other incidents, dramatic or humorous, cross mem- 
ory. There was the great hit to left field of Pearce 
Barnes, '74, which took the game in the last inning 
from the professional Eckfords. There was the tragic 
fate of French, crack first baseman, drowned at Lake 
Whitney in his Sophomore year when rescuing his 
sister. Another time was when our nine was to meet 
the baseball champions of the country at the old Union 
Grounds in Brooklyn, now lost below the dense and 
expanded city. Even the name of the then champion 
professionals is gone. It might have been the 
"Mutuals," with its famed Start on first base, and 
Hatfield the record thrower, or the old "Atlantics," 
with Pearce and O'Brien, or the Unions of Morri- 
sania, with left-handed pitcher Pabor and George 
Wright, later a baseball Colossus. But the ground 
itself is engraved in memory with its single upper row 
of bleachers, its variegated pagoda just below the deep 
right field and its high board fence thickly flecked with 
knot-holes, from one of which, of blessed memory, 
hangs a tale. 

The writer played left field; his normal position fixed 
him within a few rods of the battery of knot-holes, and 
he did not have to wait long to become aware of an 
audience beyond the barrier, facetious, whimsical and 
at times a bit vituperative. The street boy was there 
in full battalion, his sharp, if somewhat coarse, wit 
focussing on the fielder and each particular knot-hole 
vocal as well as visual. Any small peculiarity of dress, 
pose or play was the target of the running fire of jest 
from the knot-hole brigade, varied by broader gener- 
alities of speech levelled mainly at the coming fate of 
the little New Haven greenhorns who dared face the 
big champions of the land. 


Presently a huge batsman name not now recalled 
stepped up to the home plate. I noticed his glance in 
my quarter of the field, the mighty thews of his bared 
arms, his free swing. The hard hitter was divined 
and I dropped back a rod or two and to lower left 
field. Then came from the nearest knot-hole a voice 
harsh but with a sub-note of sympathy: 

"Hey, you young feller there. Look out fer that 
chap at the bat. He's the slogger of the gang. He 
bats close ter the foul line. Yer way off. Git up nearer 
that foul line and git ther quick and yer'l ketch him." 

(Scornful silence and no change of place by the left 
fielder.) Again the voice : 

"Saay, young feller agen. It's the truth we's a givin 
yer. We's the boys that's seen them fellers play and 
we knows 'em. Git way up to that foul line close by 
us and ketch that big hitter." (Chorus from the knot- 
holes, "Mind what he's a tellin yer. Git up to the foul 
line." With et ceteras of personal criticism.) 

The knot-hole suasion, if lacking culture, began to 
have the dignity of multitude and experience. Half- 
consciously I began to drift toward the deep foul line 
and what was more to the point to poise for a quick 
run toward the line. 

"Git up farther, young feller. Yer aint right yet to 
ketch him." 

Then the big batsman hit. He caught the ball, in 
the new baseball vernacular, "right on the nose." It 
was a hot liner, at the apex of its curve not fifteen feet 
from the turf, speeding like a bullet some two feet 
inside the foul line and, under ordinary conditions and 
with the left fielder in his orthodox place, good for 
three bases if not a homer. But the knot-hole advice 
had prevailed. A quick dash with just time to slacken 


speed and the liner was taken at the psychological 
moment, and at the physical vantage point to resist its 
force just in front of the chest. 

There were thunders of applause from the knot- 
holes. Fists pounded the boards, feet kicked a salvo 
and the chorus of "I told yer sos" made the welkin 
echo. At least so it seemed to the elate left fielder. 

But there was later if not loftier triumph. An inning 
or two afterward the big hitter came to the bat again. 
This time the left fielder, after another charivari of 
knot-hole warnings, was close to the foul line. The 
big hitter sensed the situation and quartered around 
for a deep field hit. Whether it was accident, the 
persistence of habit, or some obscure trick of our 
pitcher, who can say? What happened was another 
bullet hit, but this time twenty feet or more foul. And 
the fielder, thanks again to knot-hole coaching and 
amid another chorus of delight from the fence, caught 
out the "slogger" again. 

If this were fiction instead of history, the two 
catches should have saved the day and game. The 
final catch should have happed in the last inning, with 
the bases filled, two out and Yale just one run ahead. 
But the truth is mighty and shall prevail. The two 
"knot-hole" catches came early in the game. The big 
batsman wasn't caught again by the left fielder. It 
isn't recalled that the two catches had really much effect 
on the score. At any rate the professionals beat us 
badly. But that episodical baseball through a knot- 
hole forty years ago survives as a reminiscence more 
vivid than would have been victory. 

In the way of comic incidents might be recalled the 
ball caught on the fly by third baseman after a sidewise 
carom from the pitcher's head, and the ball, which in 


the Congress Avenue match of 1866, with the Charter 
Oaks of Hartford, fell into the full barrel of a soft 
soap vender watching the game from his wagon. 

The Charter Oak Club, for years champions of 
Connecticut, fearing Yale and fearing no other state 
club beside, must not be dismissed without its para- 
graphic tribute. On its list were carried names hardly 
second, in state fame at least, to those of the baseball 
colossi of the Atlantics and Eckfords. There was 
"Gersh" Hubbell, afterwards billiard champion of the 
state; the two Bunce brothers, twins, lithe and trusty 
young players; Blackwell, a Trinity student, who won 
fame in pick-up catches then called "trapping" the 
ball a trick used by him as a mere ornament and 
baseball "frill," and with a crudity which would make 
the modern first baseman or catcher smile, yet not so 
easy then, long before the era of portly glove and pad; 
and finally "Ed." Jewell, a dashing but too spectacular 
first baseman, playing more to the gallery than to the 
score card. Seen now through the baseball mists the 
old Charter Oaks earned their renown fairly by good 
discipline, steady work and the germs of team play 
when that baseball trait was almost unknown. The 
famed club met one of its first defeats, oddly enough, 
by the Freshman nine of the Class of 1870, the evening 
of whose unlooked-for victory at Hartford was lurid 
in the annals of the old Campus. 

It was in one of those games with the Charter Oaks, 
that a singular "out" was scored. The ball was hit 
hard in a hot liner to shortstop. It struck the short- 
stop's ankle, ran up his body to the chest and there, by 
instinct more than design, was caught and held amid 
cheers which made the welkin echo. And there were 
some heroic baseball figures even in that infancy of 


the game. One remembers Sheldon, '67, a wondrous 
thrower for distance; McCutchen, '70, a boy in stature, 
but whose sharp play of grounders at shortstop nick- 
named him "the rat-trap"; and "Charley" Edwards, 
'66, skilled fielder and swift runner, whose mysterious 
and tragic passing at New Haven is of recent history. 
Scholarship was linked in those archaic days closer 
with athletics than now and a 2.25 rule would have 
been equally needless and scorned. The records of the 
University nine of 1868 show that two of its regulars 
graduated with high orations, two with orations and 
three with first disputes. And there were other dif- 
ferentials less of science but more of wholesome fun; 
less of nervous competition for the nine but more of 
recreation; less of training but more of individual 
initiative and action; less of the professional method 
and spirit and more of the amateur feeling; and other 
traits of the old game to which the veteran looks back 
with conviction that the baseball scions of today have 
somewhat yet to learn from the college sport of their 


Yale football in what may be called its archaic 
epoch, with its great class matches on New Haven 
Green, of Sophomores and Freshmen contests that 
were lineal ancestors of the later and up-to-date rush 
probably goes back to about the year 1840. But of its 
first decade few or no records have come down. The 
obscurities of time probably veil several mighty strug- 
gles in front of the old State House, dramatic incident 
of rough scrimmage and rush, and plenty of heroic 
deeds of individual prowess of brain and muscle in the 
game. Not until the early fifties do the football lights 
begin to shine brightly and then only at a period which 
proved to be at once the zenith and the final eclipse of 
the ancient game. Old-fashioned class football sang 
its swan song in 1856 by decree of the Faculty, just 
after it seemed institutional and vitalized. Seen from 
the landscape viewpoint of half a century, the prohibi- 
tion of the Faculty is to be criticised justly. In abolish- 
ing the annual class game, the Yale authorities did 
away with one of the salient things which lent outline, 
depth and picturesqueness to the academic life; which, 
in physical harmfulness, was to the football of today 
as a game of checkers; and which served as a benign 
escape valve to the pent-up steam of the two hostile 
lower classes. If there had been more football in the 
fifties, there would probably have been less hazing in 
the sixties. 


An ancient, faded six-by-four-inch broadside headed 
by the familiar Yale Lit. figure of Governor Yale, of 
unknown date but almost certainly printed during the 
thirteen years following 1840, rescues for us the rules 
of the old game on the Green. They read as follows : 

1 i ) The players are to be divided into two divisions 
as nearly equal as possible. 

(2) The weakest side (or, if it be between classes, 
the lowest class) has the first warning. 

(3 ) The bounds are the path running in front of the 
State House to the Center Church; and the fence upon 
Chapel Street, between Temple and College Streets. 

(4) The brick walk on Temple Street and the fence 
upon College Street are two side bounds. If anyone 
picks up the ball over these side bounds or, picking it 
up anywhere in the field, can run with it over these 
bounds, he has a right to a kick at the place where it 
went over. 

(5) If the ball is caught it must be kicked from the 
place ; the catcher has no right to run with it. 

(6 ) If the ball is upon the ground, it must be kicked 
upon the ground; no one can pick it up and bound it; 
but he can run with it to either side bound as specified 
in article 4. 

(7) In the test game between the Sophomores and 
Freshmen, the Freshmen have the first warning. 
According to custom, it (the game) consists of five 
trials, the side that gets three games being the winner. 

(8) In the last two trials, the Seniors assist the 
Sophomores and the Juniors the Freshmen. 

The rules are signed "By a Graduate." 
The ball used in those days appears to have been 
generally of thick rubber and about ten inches in 
diameter; but sometimes of a beef bladder blown up 


and laced up in a leather case. The latter principle 
has been modernized in the football ovoid of the 
present day. 

From the New Haven correspondence of the New 
York Times of October 15, 1852, is extracted this 
description of the game of that year: 

The freshman gave the first kick and then a general rush 
was made for the ball around which they formed a dense 
crowd for fifteen minutes, each class striving with their utmost 
ability without gaining a single rod. At this crisis the ball 
was kicked from the crowd over the side-bounds, where any- 
one who can get it has the right to one kick. A sophomore 
obtained this right but, not being expert himself, he communi- 
cated the ball to the leader of his class, a powerful fellow, who 
ran several rods with it when he was overtaken by a more 
athletic freshman, but succeeded in throwing the ball nearly 
over the goal. One or two more kicks and the umpire decided 
that the sophomores had won the first game. After contesting 
the second game for nearly an hour the umpires finally decided 
that one of the freshman having caught the ball was entitled to 
a kick at it. This the sophomores were unwilling to allow, but 
claimed a victory and challenged the freshmen to commence 
a third game. The freshmen determined to abide by the 
decision of the umpires and refused to commence the third game 

until the second (as they claimed) ended Darkness 

ended the fierce conflict. Hundreds of spectators witnessed this 
trial of strength in which the combatants evinced as much 
interest and invincible courage as was exercised on the plains 
of Mexico by the American soldiers; and it is also worthy of 
note that in the contest also one brave hero fainted and was 
borne bleeding from the field. 

On Saturday, October 22, 1853, beginning nominally 
at 2 o'clock p.m. but, owing to a prolonged wrangle in 
selecting the three umpires, not actually until a half- 
hour later, came the climacteric football bout between 
the Freshman Class of 1857 and the Sophomore Class 


of 1856. The Freshman leaders, pervaded with the 
classic stories of the deeds of battle of the Greek 
phalanxes, devised at a secret meeting a formation 
which, in a sense, antedated the later fame of 
Harvard's "flying wedge." This plan was to select 
thirty-six of the largest and strongest men of the class, 
who were to form a square, the ball to be placed a 
certain distance in front. The ball was to be kicked 
a few feet, as the rules of the game required, then it 
was to be picked up and brought back into the square, 
which, with locked arms, was to advance towards the 
State House, backed and flanked by the rest of the 
class. When it met the opposing Sophomores it took 
the form of a diamond. Two strong men of the class 
were to form the frontal apex of the angle. Behind 
them came three ranks of three, four and five men, 
each picked on the principle of blended muscle and 
weight. The rest of the class was organized as flank 
and rear guards to protect the wedge. Somehow the 
Sophomores got wind of the new device and picked a 
body of fourteen natural athletes to break up the 
Freshman phalanx by side attack strategy which, as 
the sequel shows, proved its merits. The Freshmen 
on the fateful afternoon, put 131 men into the field 
and the man was evidently "queered" for his college 
course who didn't show up on the Green. The 
Sophomores had but eighty-nine men, but with their 
added year of age, heavier and more brawny than the 
Freshmen. Many of the combatants had stripped to 
their undershirts. Others wore fantastic clothes and 
false mustaches, and red paint and lampblack in streaks 
and blotches made their faces hideous. The match 
had been heralded far and undergraduates, the Faculty 
and half New Haven formed a deep fringe around 


the battlefield, with a high-colored background of 
women in the windows and balconies of Chapel Street. 
The game opened with a "fake" cant of the ball by 
the Freshman kicker-off, who, instead of footing the 
ball took it back into the wedge, which then began its 
solid march toward the north goal line; but only for 
a moment and until hit by the flank attack of the 
Sophomore fourteen. The flank impact was sharp and 
successful. It scattered the flank guard "interference," 
tangled up the wedge, and the game presently resolved 
itself into the old-fashioned dense mob play around the 
ball. After a long struggle, a Sophomore, carrying the 
ball, came out of the human pack, ran across the 
Trinity Church side line and won his free kick, which 
didn't, however, send the ball quite to the Freshman 
goal line. Here another long fight followed, when a 
Freshman got the ball at the edge of the big scrim- 
mage and with a clear field before him, ran the ball to 
the Sophomore goal line. The Freshmen sung their 
paeans of victory, but the Sophomores claimed that the 
ball struck the South fence and refused to play on unless 
the claim was allowed. The match then became 
forensic. There ensued a long and tumultuous 
wrangle and it is at this point that the quaint contem- 
poraneous narrative avers: "Some difficulties at this 
time took place between a few individuals of both 
classes. Angry words and appeals somewhat more 
impressive passed between them." Verbal football 
promised to continue until darkness, the three umpires 
couldn't agree and two of the three resigned after 
declaring the match a draw. It was during its argu- 
mentative period that the Freshmen received a big 
bouquet alleged to have been sent from the ladies at 


the New Haven House. Freshman John M. Holmes, 
not unknown later as preacher and verse maker, 
acknowledged it in this gem of brevity: 

Ladies: In the name of the class of '57 I thank you for 
this honor. In my present plight I will only add this sentiment : 
Ever may the flowers of love and hope and happiness yield you 
their blushes and their fragrance. 

But the Sophomores declared that the bunch of 
flowers was a professional "stage bouquet," bought 
either by previous subscription of the Freshmen them- 
selves or by Junior class admirers. History will hardly 
clear up the floral problem. 

With the resignation of the tired umpires, the great 
match ended physically, only to burst out anew in a 
tempest of class broadsides, lampoons, verses and other 
screeds, the Freshmen even printing the first number 
of a newspaper dubbed "The Arbiter" to sustain their 
title as victors. 

The red-hot football antagonisms of the fifties were 
prolific in prose and verse. Here is some of the chal- 
lenge literature signed by class committees : 

"The Class of '56 hereby defy the sophomores to 
the four remaining games of football at such time as 
they may appoint." 

Fifty-Five's acceptance of a previous challenge has 
an addendum which has its modern suggestion for the 
late ill-starred Princeton game. 

What maddened folly that could dare 
Rush headlong on the tiger's lair. 


These two more familiar acceptances will also bear 
reprint : 



And like sacrifices in their prime 
To the fire-eyed maid of smoky war 
All hot and bleeding will we offer you. 
Let them come on, the base-born-crew, 
Each soil-stained churl, alack! 
What gain they but a splitten skull, 
A sod for their base back. 

In the endless songs of victory or defiance which 
followed the combats of the early fifties, the under- 
graduate muse tried vainly to soar high with draggled 
wings. Samples are annexed: 

Ye bold and merry sons of Yale ! 

Come listen while I tell 
A long to be remembered tale 

Of scenes which once befell, 
When full two hundred fearless men 

The Green were scattered o'er 
And Glory greeted there and then 

The class of Fifty-Four. 


Come join the chorus, 

Shout, Shout, each sophomore! 
Three cheers for Yale and three times three 

For dauntless Fifty-Four. 

We waited long to see the ball, 

And sweep it o'er the field, 
Ere Fifty-Five, disheartened all, 

The privilege would yield. 
At length it came ; we formed our rank, 

And with one ringing cheer 
Drove ball and Freshman, rear and flank 

And swept the greensward clear. 


Yet once again repeat it while 

Their requiem we sing. 
We charge upon them rank and file 

And beat them with our Wing. 
Three times and out ; we've won the day, 

The bloodless strife is o'er. 
We bear the victor's prize away 

And shout for Fifty-Four. 

In jubilee tonight we meet, 

A merry sophomore band, 
Each classmate with a smile to greet 

And clasp each proffered hand. 
Then give three cheers for Fifty-Five 

In all its fierce array, 
Three more for Juniors who survive 

And nine for that bouquet. 

The "Wing" referred to in the verse will be recog- 
nized by grey-haired graduates as Wing Yung, Yale's 
famous Chinese graduate of '54. 

The callow muse of '56 "blew out" in such ecstatic 
stanzas as this: 

The gallant class of Fifty-Five 

By lamp black made more brave, 
To prove their courage still alive 

A valiant answer gave. 
With grim moustache and asses' ears, 

They thought the Fresh to fright, 
But lusty men, with rousing cheers, 

Not lamp black, win the fight. 


Hi! Sophomores! Ho! Sophomores! 

Aint you in a fix? 
Beat once by class of Fifty-Four 

And now by Fifty-Six. 


The next and final effusion, while hardly of a classi- 
cal standard, serves to illustrate the versified football 
polemics of the period and throws an incidental side- 
light on the "bouquet trick." It is entitled, "A Revised 
Edition of The Battle of the Ball" the last five words 
having headed a Freshman's prolix song of victory. 

And so the freshmen all proceed 

(As it had been before agreed) 

And get a grand bouquet. 

For Fifty-five, as Juniors tell, 

Had done the same when beaten well, 

And so, "why shouldn't they." 

And then, to hide the deep disgrace, 
That very justly claims its place 
On a dishonored brow, 

They hasten to their rhyming man 

And tell him quickly, if he can 

To write a poem now. 

And so he to their succor runs 
With many jokes and many puns. 
("Sucker" in truth was he,) 

And writes their greatly wished for song. 

(Three weary, boastful columns long) 

And prints it greedily. 

The Class of 1860 had arranged a match with the 
Class of 1 86 1, when, in accord with a Faculty vote, 
President Woolsey "blocked the kick" with the terse 
announcement at Chapel: "The football match next 
Saturday will not be played." And for more than ten 
years after, at Yale, there was a football hiatus. 

The Class of 1872, very strong and ardent in ath- 
letics, deserves its historical credit mark for the revival 
of the game. It came about thus : In those days, base- 
ball was played in the autumn up to about the first of 


November, when cold weather chilled the sport. 
November, therefore, was left as a month without 
snow when there was a sporting hiatus which certain 
restless spirits of seventy-two, in the Junior year of the 
class, determined to fill. A rough code of rules was 
adopted, while a half-dozen footballs and a long vacant 
lot a little to the northwest of York Square did the 
business. Forty or fifty of the class took up the game. 
The Class of Seventy-three followed suit and a match 
between the two classes was arranged. This little 
condensed item from the "Yalensicula" of the Yale 
Courant of November 16, 1870, records the first Yale 
match, which opened a new football age : 

The football game (at Hamilton Park) between the Juniors 
and the Sophomores last Wednesday was very interesting, 
though the one-sided nature of the contest detracted somewhat 
from the excitement. The Juniors selected were a much 
heavier set of men and succeeded in driving the ball past the 
Sophomore goal six times in succession. The Sophomores, 
however, played a plucky game and came near winning two 
of the games. 

Seventy-three, however, began faithful practice, got 
their "second wind," challenged the too careless victors 
of seventy-two to a second game some two weeks later 
and won by four goals to two. Then football went 
over to the following autumn, when the rivals played 
the final game for the championship of the College. 
By this time the sport had reached a pitch which the 
Yale Courant of the period describes as a "frenzy"- 
and a large crowd witnessed the climacteric struggle 
which ended in a "draw," neither side winning the 
requisite four games out of seven. Seventy-two took 
the first game after an hour's contest, and darkness 


closed the second, after play of an hour and forty 
minutes more. 

With the autumn of 1872, the revived football under 
the paternity of D. S. Schaff, of 1873, becomes inter- 
collegiate. Columbia is challenged and beaten. Foot- 
ball is, at last, firm on its legs and there follows the 
four years of the "old-fashioned" game of the "Ameri- 
can" type, which are to end in 1876 with the adoption 
of the Rugby game, fathered by Harvard. During 
the four years Yale usually comes out victorious over 
Columbia and Rutgers, which have taken up the game, 
but is fairly outclassed by Princeton, whose primacy in 
the sport is marked. Princeton plays a game of the 
"rush" order, with the ball near the center, while Yale 
plays overmuch and too loosely around the ends thus 
forced to bring in the ball sidewise to the goal, while 
Princeton forces the ball straight to the posts; and, 
besides, the men from New Jersey excel in agility and 
in "batting" the ball. One funny intercollegiate 
episode crosses the period. Harvard, just beginning 
the Rugby game, is invited by Yale to send delegates 
to a football convention of colleges and her captain, 
in declining, impugns the Yale game as having "too 
much brute force, weight and, especially, shin element," 
while "our (Harvard's) game depends upon running, 
dodging and position playing, i. e., kicking across field 
into one another's hands." Even allowing for the later 
development of the mass play and scrimmage, the 
unconscious irony of the Harvard captain is as rich 
as it is obvious. 

Class games began in 1870 with thirty men on a 
side, later dropping to twenty-five, a number lowered 
afterwards to twenty in the intercollegiate matches. 
Tripping and holding were ruled out, nor could the ball 


be carried; but, as substitute tricks, batting the ball 
with the flat of the fist was valid as was also running 
the ball across the field by short bounds. As now 
remembered, a fly catch gave the player a free kick; 
but an attempt to run in as a side trick the "toe catch," 
or passing the ball to the hand on the toe, acquired only 
with long practice, and a device coming from some of 
the "prep" schools, was ruled out as opposed to the 
spirit of the rule, while squaring with its letter. When 
the ball went out of bounds a player either threw it 
in with back turned to the field or brought it into the 
field and tossed it in the air. The modern "off-side" 
play was satirized by two so-called "pea nutters" or 
"lurkers," quick, agile players who went down on to 
the opponent's goal and stayed there to drive the ball 
through. Two "backs" watched the "lurkers" and 
sixteen out of the twenty men on a side thus, in effect, 
became rushers, who could play wherever the captain 
sent them. The positions of honor were three or four 
"free" places just outside of the ruck of the game. In 
these near skirmish lines, the best players danced, ready 
to take the ball and advance it as soon as it came out 
of the ruck. Goals were further apart than now 
usually about 600 feet and there was no cross-piece. 
To win a single game as distinguished from a 
match or, indeed, to score any point at all, the ball 
had to be driven between the posts; and to win a match 
usually four goals out of seven had to be scored. A 
single game lasting an hour was not uncommon and a 
match sometimes three or four times as long. 

"Babying," also dubbed "puggling" the ball or 
carrying it along by short kicks, was one of the high 
arts of the sport not attained by many, and with 
obstacles much increased by the large number of play- 


ers and the vagaries of the ball of rubber blown up 
and "locked" by a tube. The ball was to the last 
degree resilient and with the quality of appearing in 
half a dozen places in as many seconds. That persist- 
ent bounce of the ball was no small factor in the open 
and lively character of the old game. 

As the first international episode in football, the 
Yale-Eton match played December 6, 1873, deserves 
its brief tale. A number of young Englishmen, grad- 
uates of Eton, in business or traveling in this country, 
after seeing one of the intercollegiate matches at 
Hamilton Park, proposed a game between Yale and 
old Etonians in the United States. The idea was wel- 
comed at Yale, and after considerable discussion, the 
Yale rules were accepted with "peanutting" left out, 
teams of eleven and the match to be won or lost on 
actual results of games. The Englishmen came up 
from New York with a number of ladies, the players 
having been gathered from all over the country, one 
coming from San Francisco and another from St. 
Louis. They were stalwart, ruddy young Englishmen 
averaging twenty-four years of age, who, in the Eton 
uniform of white flannel crossed by light blue shoulder 
sashes, made a fine appearance on the field, emphasized 
by contrast with Yale, whose team wore no uniform 
except light blue caps. Among the English team, was 
a live Viscount (Talbot) and Lord Rosebery would 
have played but for accidental detention. 

The Englishmen, though out of practice and easily 
winded, played wonderfully well. They adopted, in 
a general way, the Princeton "rush" tactics of keeping 
the ball before the team on the central line of the field, 
and in skillful "babying" they showed Yale some new 
and telling points. Yale, on the other hand, played 


a side game which, in these days would be called 
working the ends a policy well favored by a ball 
more lively than the visitors had been used to. But 
Yale was still more favored by winning the toss and 
taking the wind, which blew a half-gale down the field. 
It took Yale, with the wind, an hour to score the first 
goal; then the Etonians took the wind and the next 
goal in fifteen minutes. Yale then scored a goal in 
twenty-five minutes and also took the match as the 
visitors had to leave to catch a train. Had the day 
been calm or had the Englishmen won the toss, they 
would, undoubtedly, have taken the match too. 

In all games the rubber ball of the period, with its 
chronic infirmity of leaking or splitting, was a source 
of vexation blended with amusement. It reached a 
climax in a match with Princeton at the Park, where 
the ball split in the middle of a hot game. By some 
inadvertence no substitute ball had been supplied and 
players and spectators had to wait until the creeping 
horse car of the time brought out a fresh ball from 
the Campus. In that particular match with Prince- 
ton in the autumn of 1873 those Yale players who 
survive will long remember sadly the prowess of a big 
Princeton theologue. He seemed to cover the whole 
field at once and with his fist could bat football liners 
that rivalled those of the baseball diamond. 

In those times the Campus was an arena of constant 
football controversy between students and Faculty, 
especially on moonlight nights, when the face of the 
old Lyceum clock served as the favorite football 

The old-time football was not scientific and com- 
pares with the system and subtleties of the modern 
superfine game as two-old-cat with latter day baseball. 


But it was an "open" sport; what science it had was 
not masked by mass plays; and its all-round quality, 
its breeziness, its bounce and hearty fun had in them 
something of suggestion, at least, for the hosts of the 
modern gridiron. 




The list of Yale's treasurers begins with Nathaniel 
Lynde of Saybrook, Conn., who, in 1701, gave the 
College its first house. Mr. Lynde, though regularly 
elected treasurer, appears never to have performed 
the duties of the office, maybe because there were no 
duties to perform. In the same year was elected 
Richard Rosewell of New Haven, who lived after- 
wards but a few months. John Ailing of New Haven 
was chosen in 1702. Ten years later (1712) he was 
succeeded by John Prout, successful merchant of New 
Haven, who held the place for forty-eight years. His 
accounts were kept in ounces of silver and records 
show that for the two years ending in July, 1761, the 
total income of the College was 2,093 ounces or 
about 1,046 ounces a year, representing in our time 
about the same number of dollars bullion value but, 
in those far-away days, several times their purchasing 

In 1765 came in Roger Sherman, later member of 
the committee which drafted the Declaration of 
Independence, and United States Senator. For six 
years following him served John Trumbull, author 
of the political satire "McFingal" and a judge of 
Connecticut Supreme Court. Next came, in 1782, 
James Hillhouse, who held the treasurership until his 
death fifty years after. His salary as treasurer was 


ten pounds a year, while even a poor tutor got seventy 
pounds a stipend indexing alike Mr. Hillhouse's 
academic loyalty and the small duties of the office. 
Twenty years after taking office, Treasurer Hill- 
house's salary was raised to $60 a year. Among the 
later treasurers Wyllis Warner was the soliciting agent 
of the centum millia fund, to be referred to hereafter; 
and Edward C. Herrick, entomologist and skilled 
amateur astronomer, has an abiding memorial in the 
u Yale Oak" of today, which was christened the 
"Herrick Oak" when first planted some four decades 
ago, in the corner of the Old College yard and covered 
by Battell Chapel. 

It is a singular fact that the systematic accounts of 
the College preserved run back only to the year 1796, 
uncertain tradition affirming that, before that date, 
they were not kept in books at all, but on separate and 
scattered sheets now lost. One finds, however, in the 
old volumes, mellowed and dingy with time, some 
interesting entries. Payments for glass figure exten- 
sively, indicating that the undergraduate of the 
eighteenth century had his window pane objective 
as the penal College Statutes prove, too. An entry in 
the year 1800 shows that President Dwight was paid 
$450 for a year's preaching, or the equal of almost 
half of his salary of $983 paid that year, though the 
year following he appears to have drawn $1,335. In 
the former year the auditing committee, including 
Treasurer Hillhouse himself, would not accept but 
referred to the Corporation for further action an 
excess of $101.95 charged over and above the appro- 
priation for a monument to President Stiles by no 
means the first time that contract prices have been 
exceeded, though the deficit does not always follow men 


TREASURER 1782-1832 
From a portrait in Woodbridge Hall 


to their graves. Tutors in those days were getting 
$211 to $236 a year. The treasury accounts ran into 
mills where an odd number of cents had to be split. 
Not in the treasury accountings proper, but in an older 
"Land book" which the treasury holds, is a schedule 
which gives the sum total of the scientific apparatus of 
the College in 1747. It is annexed verbatim: 

A telescope with a tripod; two setts of posts and a glass to 
be screwed on to look on the sun. 

A pair of globes celestial and terrestrial with quadrants of 

A pair of old globes. 

A theodolite with a tripod, plain table and brass scale and 
sights for it, needles and glasses. 

Two measuring wheels or perambulators. 

A Gunter's chain, a short wooden scales, a pair of dividers, 
a protractor. 

A loadstone set in brass with steel arms. 

A microscope with the apparatus. 

A barometer with thermometer. 

An Orrery, a concave glass, a curve glass, a multiplying glass. 

A pair of small neat ballances or scales with all proper 

A landscape box, two prisms with a stand, a brass syringe. 

About ten glass tubes. 

The same volume shows that for ten years, 1743- 
1753, the total accessions to the Yale Library were 
thirty-one books, most of them of sermons. 

The first printed report of the treasurer appears 
upon one side and part of a single little yellow sheet, 
faded with the years and bearing date of August i, 
1830. Here it is in full: 


AUG. IST 1830 

Phoenix bank stock at par . . . $ 8,223.91 
Good notes and debts 19,864.27 

Notes of Graduates 2,768.08 

Debts owed by the College .... 13,000.00 

Balance 17,856.26 

Interest on $17,856 . . . $1,071.36 
Ground rents .... 862.30 
Rents of houses in New Haven 740.00 

Whole income from funds . . 2,673.66 

In the expense account for the fiscal year ending 
August i, 1830, incidentals figure at $1,111, wood 
$375, "Commission on term bills" $484, librarian's 
salary $100, appropriations for indigent students $870, 
and instruction (salaries) $11,735. The total expense 
for the year was $20,309. The larger items in only 
nine sources of income were term bills $16,136, inter- 
est $877, and rents $1,422. Total income was 
$19,471 and expenses exceeded income by $837. 

In the next fiscal year, the Medical School fund 
appears, amounting to $4,376 in Phoenix Bank stock; 
and Theological Department funds of $18,048, 
represented by "Dwight professor notes, stock and 

The oldest fund of the College, of large size and one 
of the most interesting, is the "Centum Millia" fund, 
which is returned in the last Treasurer's report ( 1908- 
1909) at $82,950. Aroused by the low state of the 


Yale funds in 1830 a mighty effort was made to raise 
a general fund of $100,000. The circular appeal 
appears with the names of the first subscribers under 
date of December i, 1831. It recites that, since its 
founding, Yale College has received from state grants 
$75,000 and from individuals but $70,000; that owing 
to fidelity and economy u The College plant may be 
estimated as worth $150,000," but that, owing to loss 
by failure of the Eagle bank and outlay for plant, the 
whole income, apart from term bills, "but little exceeds 
$2,000 and not one professorship in the College is 
endowed"; that while Harvard has a plant worth 
$800,000 and income of $24,000, the annual deficit of 
Yale is from $500 to $1,000, although she has a larger 
number of students than any other American college. 
Friends of Yale are asked to decide whether Yale 
College, "after diffusing her rays so widely for more 
than a century, is destined to rise with the rising great- 
ness of the nation or, having attained the zenith of 
her strength, shall be doomed, descending, to withdraw 
her light till her place shall be found among the stars 
of an inferior magnitude." 

In the list of subscribers to the first $42,000 of the 
fund appear a number of famous names, the poor 
professors doing their share and more with the 
rest. They include President Jeremiah Day, $1,000; 
Benjamin Silliman, $1,000; James Kent, $500; Leon- 
ard Bacon, $150; John Pierpont, $150; Horace 
Binney, $100; Noah Porter, Jr., $100; F. A. P. Bar- 
nard, $100; Horace Bushnell, $100; and Timothy 
Pitkin, $150. The Yale Senior Class subscribed 

The earliest printed document in the treasury files 
at the Yale Library bears date of September, 1823. 


In it David C. DeForest recites his descent from a 
French Huguenot of his family name, who fled from 
France to Holland at the revocation of the edict of 
Nantes, and expresses his intention of giving the Col- 
lege $5,000, to remain at interest until January i, 
1852, when he computes it will amount to "Twenty- 
five thousand nine hundred and forty-one dollars, 
eighty cents and six mills." Then the income is to go 
to DeForest descendants or a student willing to assume 
the name and for the DeForest gold medal, now the 
foremost literary and oratorical prize of the College. 



The gifts of Yale began with her founding in 1701 
and in a sense the first gift was her founding, when in 
October of that remote year, the original ten trustees 
or some of them had their historic meeting in 
Branford and gave their forty volumes of substratum 
for the establishment of the College. By strict con- 
struction the College thus had a literary rather than 
financial tap-root. But, naturally, from the very 
beginning and especially during the early decades, 
when students of the College were few, financial 
support from extraneous sources was a prime element 
in its vitality and growth. The history of Yale gifts 
and of their varied character, from the small offerings 
of the early eighteenth century down to the great and 
rising benefactions of the last fifty years, is a long 
one too long to fill in with much detail. 

In the same month and year of the historic "gift 
of books" came the first contribution of the Colonial 
legislature to the embryo College. It was "120 
pounds in country pay annually," country pay meaning 
payment in "rates," i.e., taxes levied by the Colonial 
"General Court," in the payment of which commodi- 
ties were appraised 50 per cent higher than the 
money price. The 120 pounds was equivalent in our 
denominations to about $275, which then would be 
equal to about three times the present purchasing 


power of the sum. The Colonial State recognized its 
natural fatherhood of education and the theological 
motive penetrating state society and the status of the 
new College was an added force. And as the state 
started its aid, so it continued. The $275 was paid 
regularly for fifty-four years, besides other state gifts 
including one in the administration of Rector Cutler 
(1719-1722), "impost on rum" of 115 pounds for the 
Rector's house. Connecticut's total gifts to Yale may 
be reckoned roughly at $250,000, or a round quarter- 
million, since the founding, not counting the tax 
exemptions shared by Yale with Trinity and Wesleyan. 
The state gifts have included many grants for improve- 
ments of the college plant, including the construction 
of South Middle College, of the extinct Trumbull 
Gallery, and the old Medical School, now the Sheff 
administration building. 

The Richard Salter gift in 1781 of 200 acres of 
land in Tolland County, Conn., for promoting the 
study of Hebrew is of interest for being the basis of 
a Hebrew "elective" in his own college time first 
prophecy or portent of the elective system to begin 
a quarter-century after. Not until 1782 did Yale 
receive any important gift from one of her grad- 
uates 500 pounds then from Daniel Lathrop of the 
Class of 1733, who gave it without restrictions. But 
Harvard with a larger and richer constituency had not 
received so large a gift from a graduate until 130 years 
after her founding. Yale's gift of $10,000 in 1834 
by Dr. A. E. Perkins, Yale '30, for the library, was 
the largest single donation down to that time. 

A few years before that date, in 1823, there ap- 
peared on the roll of Yale givers a name almost 
unremembered now but which should be rescued from 


obscurity and set high in her honor list. Sheldon 
Clark was born on a farm, the son of a farmer, 
January 31, 1785, and in the up-country town of 
Oxford, Conn. He had early aspirations toward 
learning, thwarted by the death of parents and 
dependence on a parsimonious farming grandsire, who 
insisted that his charge should hold fast to the soil. 
But the youth read books and had a brief period of 
education at Litchfield, Conn., higher than the little 
red schoolhouse enough to whet his craving for 
knowledge, and respect for it. When young Clark 
was twenty-five the grandfather died, leaving the 
grandson some $20,000. He came to New Haven, 
and for a few months attended Yale lectures and 
recitations as a non-enrolled student. Going back to 
the farm, he was for the next ten years a soil tiller, 
teaching school winters and meanwhile loaning funds 
until his capital grew to $25,000. To use the words 
of his biographer, the elder Professor Silliman: "In 
a rugged country of stony hills he had followed the 
plow, he had fattened droves of cattle, he had taught 
school in winter and loaned money at all times not 
to become wealthy for himself but to promote the good 
of others." 

In the year 1823, his benefactions to Yale began. 
In that year he gave $5,000; the year after $1,200 
more; and the same sum four years later. He gave 
in ten separate sums the $1,200 that bought the tele- 
scope in the old Athenaeum tower through which so 
many college generations studied the heavens; and in 
a letter of that time acknowledging the thanks of the 
Senior Class for the gift, he recites his high motives 
in his benefactions and the adverse criticisms he had 
incurred maybe from mercenary relatives and heirs- 


at-law. Dying suddenly and tragically by a fall in his 
barn, April 10, 1840, he left Yale most of his estate, 
by a will drawn seventeen years before, deposited with 
Professor Silliman and left unchanged. Altogether his 
benefactions amounted to $30,000, three times the 
donations of any other individual giver down to 1841 ; 
and among his gifts was one for the promotion of 
graduate study, attesting how far the up-country 
farmer was ahead of his generation. The great gifts 
of later times may obscure yet hardly measure up in 
fair balance to those of Sheldon Clark. Within a few 
years 1905 he has had an analogue in the giver 
of the Viets fund, entered in the Sheff moneys at 
$281,753 coming by will unsolicited and unlooked 
for from Levi C. Viets, a resident of a back town of 
Hartford County. 

For obvious reasons some of the old sectarian funds 
show queer changes as time has swept on from an 
epoch of dogma into one of duty. The Dwight Pro- 
fessorship Fund of Systematic Theology in the Divinity 
School is an instance to the point. It was secured by 
the Corporation through subscriptions to the amount 
of about $20,000 in 1822, and named in honor of the 
first President Dwight, whose son was a large con- 
tributor. The conditions presumptively laid down 
or, at least, accepted by the Corporation set forth 
that the professor before appointment must be exam- 
ined as to his faith and, in writing, declare his "free 
assent to the confession of faith and rules of Eccle- 
siastical discipline agreed upon by the churches of the 
State in the year 1708" or seven years after the found- 
ing of the College. It is further declared that if the 
person who fills the chair of the professorship holds 
or teaches doctrine contrary to those of 1708, "it shall 



be the duty of the Corporation to dismiss such person 
from office forthwith." 

The Root Scholarships in the Theological School, 
founded in 1864, during the Civil War, go to young 
men of decided and hearty anti-slavery character, sen- 
timent and principles, and known as such to the Faculty 
by examination and otherwise, and, in their judgment, 
likely to exert a good and efficient influence in that 
behalf." The academic Trinity Scholarship, founded 
in 1855, gives to the Rector and Wardens of Trinity 
Church, New Haven, the appointment of the schokr. 
But, if they do not appoint, the academic Faculty can 
do so. The large Porter Fund of the Academic 
Department, given in 1878, provides that $600 a year 
is to go for a lectureship on the topics of "Righteous- 
ness and Common Sense," and, somewhat similarly, the 
Silliman Lectureship Fund was given in 1884 for a 
series of lectures, u the general tendency of which may 
be such as will illustrate the presence and wisdom of 
God as manifested in the natural and moral World," 
but they must not be on topics relating to polemical or 
dogmatic theology. These provisions let in the up- 
to-date important Silliman lectures by world-known 
men of science. 

Another curious fund of much the same sort is the 
Divinity Fund of $50,000 in the Academic Depart- 
ment, the income of which is used to support preaching 
in the college pulpit. It runs back to a gift in 1746 of 
about $142, made by Philip Livingston of New York, 
whose family name by that small donation was for 
many years linked with the professorship. The 
severely orthodox President Clap in 1756 added a gift 
of land worth about $200, and in 1863 S. B. Chit- 
tenden of Brooklyn raised the fund to $50,000. 


President Clap when he made his donation attached 
the condition that the incumbent 

shall always believe, profess and teach for truth all the 
doctrines contained in the Assembly's Catechism and the Con- 
fession of Faith received and established in the churches of 
Connecticut, and none contrary thereto and shall preach in 
the College Hall or Chapel on the Lord's Day and other days 

as often at least as other universities generally do 

Provided .... if the Professor of Divinity should preach or 
teach any doctrines contrary or repugnant to any of the doc- 
trines contained in said catechism or confession of faith, then, 
in either case, this grant shall cease, determinate or be void. 

The sensations of President Clap, could he see in 
these days even the interest on his $200 used to pay a 
Unitarian like Dr. Edward Everett Hale for preaching 
in the college pulpit, can be better fancied than 
described; and in the roll of college preachers he 
would find some other terrifying names. 

Another hereditary fund is the "Day Fund," origi- 
nally of $2,000, given by Thomas Day of Hartford, 
in 1832. Along with provision for support and educa- 
tion at Yale of Day descendants, the President of the 
College is authorized to withhold the benefit of the 
fund "for immoral conduct or a violation of the Col- 
lege laws" from any student otherwise entitled to 
receive it. But, if the student reforms, then the Presi- 
dent can apply it to the student's benefit or add the 
sum to the principal, as he sees fit. The gift has the 
somewhat peculiar provision that the President and 
Fellows must make good any loss in either the principal 
or income of the fund. In some contrast the Elliot 
hereditary fund allows the College "the usual percent- 
age for managing trust funds." The Leavenworth 
hereditary funds follow the analogy of the Day Fund 


in holding the College responsible for losses and have 
the exceptional feature of providing for advertising 
of the scholarships in New York, New Haven and 
Hartford papers. 

Memories of the older generation of Yale graduates 
go back in somewhat sardonic spirit to the Old Treas- 
ury building, which stood for some seventy years on 
ground a little in front of the present statue of Presi- 
dent Woolsey. In wildest nightmares no one could 
dream of the architectural fitness of the ancient 
structure to the financial ideal. It was, in fact, in- 
tended and used for the Trumbull Collection of paint- 
ings, which had been bought by the College for a low 
annuity; and, unless tradition goes astray, as Trumbull 
was to be buried beneath the building, it was framed 
in a sarcophagal and tomb-like design, symbolic also 
of the deadly decrees of the college Faculty issued 
from its conclaves in the building and which cut off 
prematurely so many an undergraduate life. For 
years the treasury was a cramped room in the cellar- 
like first story, but later rising to better quarters one 
flight up when the Trumbull Collection with his 
remains found permanent lodgment in the present 
Art Building. The old structure, an architectural wart 
on the Campus, came down when Woodbridge Hall 
went up. 

For years the printed reports of the treasurer, 
beginning in 1830, fill less than one page of a small 
sheet. As the funds grew and departments were 
added to the College, all to be welded ere long into 
the University, the sheet waxed into a small pamphlet. 
But for more than a half-century it was hardly more 
than a bald statement of additions to funds, a list of 
funds and a recital of income and expense with no 


textual matter, no general summaries, no general 
balance sheets the dimmest of reports in which the 
Yale man groped in vain for financial light. It was 
not until 1899 that Treasurer Farnam broke the 
opaque custom by giving a summary of his twelve 
years of stewardship substantially coincident with 
that of President Dwight. 

As one glances over these curiosities of Yale 
funds reaching back over the centuries, expressing the 
spirit and atmosphere of varying and often discordant 
epochs and representing the notions of donors of differ- 
ing temperaments a full realization can be had of 
some of the problems which the Yale treasurer must 
solve. On the one hand are ancient and outworn whims 
personified in faded trust deeds; on the other, the wis- 
dom, if not necessity, of consolidating funds and of 
simplifying accounts. 

As time and Yale history go on, the gifts drift 
steadily away from eccentricity and from individual 
whim and conform more and more to some special 
Yale need not so broad and deep as her general 
need, but still in a large sense utilitarian. 



The Blount legacy to Yale, telegraphed from Eng- 
land in late vacation, and which came as a kind of 
benign bolt from the blue, remains at this writing a 
mystery both in origin and motive and somewhat 
uncertain in its final outcome. 1 

Of the gifts that are to be classed as primarily or 
secondarily English, three stand out vividly in historic 
perspective. One is the donation of Elihu Yale that 
gave title to the earlier College and later University; 
the second, the Newport farm of Dean George Berke- 
ley; and, third in order, but first in size and fruition, 
the gift of George Peabody that affixed his family 

1 The gift by Archibald Henry Blount, Esquire, of Orleton Manor, 
Herefordshire, England, amounted to a net $320,085.87, and came 
to the University under a second will, dated June 4, 1907. The pre- 
cise reasons for the legacy remain today as much a mystery as when 
this paper was written. In a careful study of the circumstances, 
made in 1914, former Treasurer Lee McClung was unable to dis- 
cover any personal connection between Mr. Blount and the Univer- 
sity, but was of the opinion that the English donor had become a 
believer in the social and political institutions of the United States 
(probably through a long neighborly acquaintance in Herefordshire 
with that American melodramatist, Captain Mayne Reid) and had 
selected Yale as an American university likely to satisfy his 
democratic ideals. 

(NOTE. This article was written before the legacy was announced, 
early in 1914, of a fifth great English gift to Yale 100,000 from the 
estate of Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, who, when Sir Donald 
A. Smith, had been Chancellor of McGill University, Montreal.) 


name to the Museum which his nephew, the late 
Othniel C. Marsh, even more richly endowed with his 
labors as well as estate. To these may, perhaps, be 
added the Higgins professorship in the Scientific 
School, endowed several decades ago with some 
$32,000, the gift of Mrs. Susan Higgins of Liverpool, 
a niece of Mr. Sheffield. 

The hardly unfamiliar name of Governor Elihu 
Yale runs back to the year 1648, when at Boston a 
son was born to a Colonial emigrant who, ten years 
later, returned to England. There the son received 
his education, entered the East Indian service at the 
age of twenty and, in time, rose to the Governorship 
of Fort St. George, Madras. Those were days in the 
British East Indian service when the right hand knew 
what the left hand did, though the public usually did 
not. Down the obscure streams of history have 
floated unsavory rumors of graft and "tainted money'* 
as basic rocks of great estates which were carried back 
to London. Governor Yale returned to England, 
where, in 1714, Connecticut's Colonial Agent, Jeremiah 
Dummer, stirred the nabob's at first languid interest 
in the future Yale University. The founder's first gift 
was the not impressive donation of forty books of 
uncertain value, prompting Mr. Dummer's epistolary 
comment: "Governor Yale has done something, but 
very little considering his estate." 

But later the Governor's purse-strings and 
library relaxed. In 1717 he sent three hundred 
more books and a year after "Goods to the value of 
two hundred pounds sterling besides the king's picture 
and arms." To the trustees of the struggling Col- 
lege maybe moved by that gratitude defined as a 
lively sense of new favors to come these consecutive 


donations were mighty gifts; and one reads how at 
the Commencement of 1718, they named the College 
"Yale" and how Mr. Davenport, one of the trustees, 
"offered an excellent oration in Latin expressing 
thanks to Almighty God and Mr. Yale under Him for 
so public a favor and so great regard for our languish- 
ing school." 

Governor Yale's total gifts, with the high purchase 
power of money in those days, transmuted into our 
dollars, amounted to about $5,000. Rarely or never 
in the history of our race has so enduring a monument 
been bought so cheaply. But John Harvard was a 
close second when by a legacy of half his estate or 
about seven hundred and fifty pounds sterling now 
representing say $9,000 he secured title for another 
American university of greatness and fame. 

The story of the Berkeley farm tells us of a gift 
less, perhaps, in name but more unique in its conditions 
and records than the benefaction of Governor Yale. 
The Rev. George Berkeley, Dean of Derry, Ireland, 
and inheritor of four thousand pounds sterling from 
"Vanessa" (Mrs. Vanhomrig) and more ardent than 
practical as a philanthropist, schemed in his poetic 
"Westward the star of Empire" days a missionary 
college in Bermuda for the American Indians. With 
a royal charter and promises of a government grant, 
he set sail for Bermuda in 1728 and, storm-beaten for 
five months, landed at Newport, R. I., where, three 
miles from Mr. Dooley's modern center of "money, 
matrimony and alimony," he bought a farm of ninety- 
six acres and stocked it as a basis of supplies for the 
Bermuda college, meanwhile waiting three years in vain 
hope of the government's grant. Before he sailed for 
home, a trustee of Yale had so interested him in the 


College that from England he sent back a thousand 
books and also a deed of the Newport farm. The 
conditions of the gift are interesting, not to say 
diverting. The rents were to sustain at Yale the 
u three best scholars in Greek and Latin." Candidates 
were to be examined annually on the 6th of May or 
if that date fell on Sunday, upon the yth of May in 
public by the President of the College and the "Senior 
Episcopal Missionary within the Colony." And there 
was provision for dissipating any surplus in book prizes 
for Latin composition and declamation on moral 
themes. Thus, under the deed of gift, fancy may 
amuse itself with the spectacle of President Hadley 
and Bishop Brewster of Connecticut as public exam- 
iners for the Berkeley scholarships. 

Yale took the farm and its scholastic rents. In 1762 
it leased the property to Captain John Whiting for 
999 years, at a rent of "eighteen pounds sterling and 
40 rods of stone wall" until 1769, when the rent was 
to go up to thirty-six pounds sterling until 1810 and 
then shift to a yearly rent of "240 bushels of good 
wheat" until the expiration of the lease in the year 
2761. Inquisition at the office of the Treasurer dis- 
closes no corner in Rhode Island wheat at present, but, 
in lieu, a faded page showing a commutation into $140 
a year authoritatively stated as fair present rent for 
the ancient farm. 

In a recent report of the University Treasurer 
appears the "George Berkeley fund" of the College 
entered as $4,800, of which $2,800 represents accu- 
mulation and $2,000 the Newport farm; the scholar- 
ships are too small to tempt competition often; and 
practically, except in the Yale treasury, the Berkeley 
book prizes for Latin composition are the sole public 


mementoes left of the ancient gifts which were worth 
in terms of our present money about $9,000. The tale 
is from time to time repeated that the Berkeley farm 
now includes a considerable part of the city of Newport 
and that the Yale trustees threw away a fortune by the 
lease of 1762. But it can be stated on authority that 
the farm, separated from the city by a hill, is still far 
away from the zone of urban growth and its present 
valuation of $2,000 not far below the fact. Perchance 
in the year 2761 the Corporation may find it a bonanza. 
Last and much the largest in the scope of its univer- 
sity usefulness, springing from English sources but not 
given by a naturalized Englishman, comes the gift of 
George Peabody, born in Massachusetts, but who made 
his money in London. Mr. Peabody, foremost man 
of his time in philanthropies which were wise as well 
as vast, in 1866 gave $100,000 to build the present 
Peabody Museum, $30,000 to supply income for the 
institution and $20,000 to accumulate as a building 
fund. The $20,000 with its interest of thirty-one years 
added now amounts to about $150,000, to be used in 
time for the central hall of which the present Peabody 
Museum is to be the left wing. But even more benefi- 
cent was the inheritance which Mr. Peabody left to his 
nephew, the late Professor O. C. Marsh, used by him 
for the splendid collections of the Museum and they, 
with Professor Marsh's old home, the present Forest 
School, at last given or bequeathed to Yale all abiding 
memorials of private generosity and devotion to science 
and all derived originally from the English motherland. 



Academic Department, funds of, 
228, 235. 

Adams, William, president of 
Union Theological Seminary, 

Advisory Board, Yale Alumni, 
128, 190. 

JEneid, Mason's translation of, 

Ailing, John, treasurer in 1702, 

Alumni Hall, examinations, 
"Statement of Facts" and 
Thanksgiving Jubilee held, in, 
33-37; "Annual" in, 125. 

Alumni Weekly, 124. 

"American Biography," Sparks', 

American consulship held by Ik 
Marvel, 169. 

Annuals and Biennials in Alumni 
Hall, 33-35, 42, 125, 127. 

Arbiter, The, Freshman news- 
paper, 213. 

Art Building, treasury room in, 

Art School, founder of, 30; Ik 
Marvel, member of the council 
of, 170. 

Ashmun Street lot, 194, 195. 

Athenaeum, focal center of mis- 
chief, 66, 110; recitations in, 
107; telescope in, 233. 

Bacon, Leonard, one of the edi- 
tors of The Talebearer, 144; 
grave of, 180; subscriber to 
"Centum Millia" fund, 229. 

Bagg, Lyman H., author of 
"Four Years at Yale," 127, 
149; his character and writ- 
ings, 149-154. 

Baldwin, Gov. Simeon E., Salu- 
tatorian, 82. 

Barnard, F. A. P., president of 
Columbia College. Salutato- 
rian, 81. 

Baseball, Early, see Sports. 

Beccaria, Marquis, treatise of, 

Beecher, Lyman, Lecture Course, 
65 ; grave of, 181. 

Beethoven Society, Horace Bush- 
nell, member of, 145. 

Begg, William R., highest stand 
man during elective period, 83. 

Berkeley farm, 241, 243; fund, 

Berkeley, Rev. George (Dean of 
Derry, Ire.), 237, 241. 

Berkeley Oval, 94. 

Bermuda College, 241. 

Berry, Spoon man, 87. 

Biennials, see Annuals. 

Billy Bush, 145. 

Blount, Archibald Henry (Here- 
fordshire, Eng.), 239; legacy, 



Brainard, Cyprian S., donor to 

the Yale Medical School, 168. 
Brainerd, David, theological 
martyr, his early bringing up, 
piety, expulsion from Yale and 
subsequent life, 162-168. 

Branford, historic meeting of 
Yale's original ten trustees at, 

Bread and Butter Rebellion, 62; 
articles concerning, 64. 

Brick Row, Old, characteristics 
of the Row as compared to 
those of the Quadrangle, 8, 9; 
buildings in the Row, prices of 
rooms, 10-12; the Lyceum, 11- 
14; Old Chapel, 16. 

Brothers in Unity, Debating So- 
ciety, 73; rivals of Linonia, 
ceremonials, 74-77. 

"Bull Doggerel," poem by Bagg, 

Burial of Euclid, see Euclid. 

Burr, Rev. Aaron (Newark, N. 
J.), 166. 

Bushnell, Horace, preacher from 
Hartford, 19; appearance and 
characteristics of, 145-147. 

Cabinet Building, location, 66, 

Calhoun, John C., visitor at 

Pavilion Hotel, 27. 
Calliopean Society, comprising 

Southern States' members, 144. 
Candy Sam, his appearance and 

tricks on the Campus, 100, 101. 
Cemetery, Grove Street, 173 ; its 

division into lots, 174, 175 ; 

Yale men buried in, 176-182. 

''Centum Millia," College fund, 


Chapel, Battell, compared to the 
Old Chapel, 15; Old Chapel, 
its location, exterior and in- 
terior architecture, 15-17; ser- 
mons, pranks and music in, 18- 
20; Presentation Day in, 150; 
telescope in, 158. 
Charter Oaks, professional base- 
ball club, 206. 

Chase, Frank Herbert, last Vale- 
dictory address delivered by, 

Chatfield, Charles C., founder of 
"The University Publishing 
House," 152. 
Chittenden, S. B., donor to the 

Divinity Fund, 235. 
Chronicle, New Haven, weekly 

newspaper, 64. 

Clark, Sheldon, greatest of the 
early benefactors to Yale, 233, 

Clap, President, his contributions 
to the astronomical apparatus 
of Yale, 131; his attitude 
towards Brainerd, 164; grave 
of, 176, 182; donor to the 
Divinity Fund, 235. 
Clay, visitor at Pavilion Hotel, 

College Courant, The, a weekly 

periodical, 153. 
Colonnade, a harbor bar room, 


Commencement, the College 
named "Yale" at the Com- 
mencement of 1718, 241. 



Commons, fare, prices, revolts in, 


Congress Avenue lot, 194, 195. 
Connecticut Hall, men of, 137. 
Courant, Yale, parody on Chapel 

anthem in, 20. 

"Crocodile," eating club, 44, 57. 
Croswell, William, a Yale poet, 


Daggett, President, grave of, 176. 

Davenport, Mr., trustee, 241. 

Day fund, The Thomas, 236. 

Day, President Jeremiah, survey- 
or of Grove Street Cemetery, 
175; assistant at the removal 
of stones from the Center 
Church graveyard to the col- 
lege lot in Grove Street Ceme- 
tery, 178; donor to the "Cen- 
tum Millia" fund, 229. 

DeForest, David C., originator 
of the DeForest prize, 230. 

Divinity College, first of rank in 
the Row, 9. 

Divinity Fund and its donors, 235, 

Donnelly, Jim, Campus police- 
man, 93. 

"Dream Life," Ik Marvel, 107, 

Dummer, Jeremiah, Connecticut's 
Colonial agent to England, 240. 

Dwight Professorship Fund of 
Systematic Theology, 234. 

East River, 131. 
East Rock Park, 170. 
Edgewood, home of Ik Marvel, 
170, 172. 

Edwards, "Charley," baseball 
player, 207. 

Edwards, Jonathan, president of 
Princeton, 163, 165. 

Elective course, 188. 

Elm Street lot, 193. 

Euclid, Burial of, place of cere- 
monies for, 22, 41 ; origin and 
ceremonies of, 41-50. 

Evarts, William M., speaker at 
alumni meeting, 112, 113. 

Examinations, "biennials," 34-35, 

"Facts, Statement of," held in 
Alumni Hall, 35 ; origin of, 75. 

Faculty, censorship at the "Jubi- 
lee," 36, 37; and Commons, 64; 
relation between student and, 
111, 121, 192; examinations, 

Farnam, Treasurer, 238. 

Fence, The, Rules of, 5. 

Ferris, Theodore, "Candy Sam," 

Field, Yale, 195; cost of, 196. 

Fineday, Campus character, 95, 

Finley, Rev. Samuel, president 
of Princeton, 166. 

Football, see Sports. 

Forest School on Hillhouse prop- 
erty, 23 ; present home of, 243. 

"Four Years at Yale," see Bagg. 

Fort St. George (Madras), Gov. 
Yale at, 240. 

Frisbie, Judah, owner of "Pavil- 
ion," 27. 

Glyuna, see Sports (boating). 
Golf, see Sports (golf). 



Goodwin, Mary A., Yale bene- 
factress, grave of, 181. 

Grant, Eli Whitney's oration on, 

Green, burying ground, 173, 178; 
games on, see Sports. 

Grey, Asa, botanist, 83. 

Grove Street Cemetery, see 

Hale, Edward Everett, Unitarian 
preacher, 236. 

Halley's comet, seen by Olmsted, 

Hall, Newman, of London, ser- 
mon by, 19. 

Hamilton Park, see Sports (base- 

Hannibal, George Joseph, Cam- 
pus character, 6, 95-97; tricks 
and jokes, 97-100. 

Harrison, see Harriman, Henry 
B., 58 ; counsel for students in 
town and gown riots, 58. 

Harvard, John, legacy, 241. 

"Heavenly Twins," see Loomis 
and Newton. 

Herrick, Edward C., treasurer, 

Herrick Oak, 226. 

Higgins, Mrs. Susan, endowed 
a professorship in the Scientific 
School, 240. 

"High hook," see Brick Row. 

Hillhouse, James, property of, 

Hillhouse, James A., Treasurer, 
founder of Grove Street Ceme- 
tery, 173, 174; salary as treas- 
urer, 225, 226. 

Hoadley, George, bookseller, 113. 

Hqoker, "Tom," record hit made 
in baseball by, 202. 

Hospital lot, 194. 

Howe, General, local bookseller 
and publisher, 142. 

Hubbell, "Gersh," professional 
baseball and billiard player, 

Humphreys, Gen. David, found- 
er of Brothers in Unity Society, 

Ik Marvel, see Mitchell. 

Indians, missionary to, 167. 

Ingersoll, Charles R., counsel for 
student in a town and gown 
riot, 58. 

Irrigation, School of, 23. 

Ives, G. A., landlord of "Pavil- 
ion" Hotel, 27. 

Jackson, Campus character, 95, 

"Jubilee, Thanksgiving," 35-37, 
47, 99, 150. 

Judson, Fred N., teacher in Hop- 
kins Grammar School, 128. 

Kakichi Senta, Yale graduate, 
grave of, 181. 

Kent, James, student in Connecti- 
cut Hall, 137; brilliant scholar, 
138; plagiarizes from Marquis 
Beccaria's treatise, 139; donor 
to "Centum Millia" fund, 229. 

Kilby, Christopher, donor of 
astronomical apparatus, 131. 

Kingsbury, Frederick J., anecdote 
contributed to Alumni Weekly 
by, 124. 



"Land Book" of the treasury, 

Library, accessions during the 
years 1743-1753, 227; gift to, 

Library Street and snowball 
fights of 1869, 69-71. 

"Linonia," debating society, 28, 
34; rivals of "Brothers in 
Unity," ceremonials, 73-77; 
schism in, 144. 

Livingston, Philip, donor to 
Divinity Fund, 235. 

Loomis, Elias, a rebel in Com- 
mons, 64; an "Heavenly 
Twin," 108, 109; biography 
of, 116, 117; physical charac- 
teristics, 118; in classroom, 
119-121; scientific mistakes, 
122; his death and will, 122, 

Lyceum, tower of, center for 
mischief, 13, 66; classrooms in, 
108, 109. 

Lynde, Nathaniel, first treasurer, 

Marsh, Othniel Charles, grave 
of, 180; Peabody Museum en- 
dowed by, 240; Forest School 
gift, 243. 

Marvel, Ik, see Mitchell. 

Mason, Ebenezer Porter, sketch 
of, 157, 158; his room, 159; 
works, 160; death, 161. 

Mason, Jeremiah, college careef, 

McClung, Lee, Treasurer, 239. 

Medical School, fund, 228. 

Meigs, surveyor of Grove Street 
Cemetery, 174. 

Miles, William, victim of riot, 
57, 58. 

"Millia, Centum" fund, 228. 

Mill River, 26, 27, 98, 192. 

Mill Rock, 21, 22. 

Mitchell, Donald Grant, sketch 
of, 169; positions held by, 170; 
works, 171, 172. 

Morehouse, Cornelius S., printer 
and publisher, 126. 

Moriarty's ale-house, 10. 

Morse, Jedediah, father of Amer- 
ican geography, 181. 

Moseley, proprietor of New 
Haven House, 29, 30. 

Neilson, Adelaide, in Chapel 
gallery, 19. 

New Haven Hospital, 194. 

New Haven House, college and 
city tavern, 29; the last of, 

Newport farm, Berkeley gift to 
Yale, 239, 242, 243. 

Newton, Hubert A., in the class- 
room, 108; astronomical dis- 
covery made by, 109 ; grave of, 

Nicodemus, son of Hannibal, 97, 

North College, 10, 11. 

North Middle, 10, 11, 13. 

Northrop, Birdseye Grant, pio- 
neer and promoter in New 
England village improvements, 
180, 181. 

"Novum Organum," Bacon's, 156. 

Oak, Herrick, 226. 
Oak, Yale, 3, 226. 



Observatory lot, 21, 23. 

Off-side play, 219. 

Olmsted, Prof. Denison, text- 
books of, 132; memoir of 
Whitney, 141; life of Mason, 
155, 156, 160; grave of, 182. 

O'Neill, longshoreman in riot, 

"Opening load," Spoon ceremony, 
36, 87. 

Orations, College, 80-87. 

Pavilion Hotel, a harbor hos- 
telry, 24-28. 

Peabody, George, gift of Mu- 
seum by, 239, 243. 

Peck & Snyder, sporting firm, 202. 

Percival, James Gates, poet, 142, 

Perkins, Dr., A. E., donor to 
library fund, 232. 

Phi Beta Kappa banquet, 144. 

Pierpont, John, subscriber to 
"Centum Millia" fund, 229. 

Pitkin, Timothy, subscriber to 
"Centum Millia" fund, 229. 

Playfair, editor of Euclid, 49. 

Porter, landlord of Pavilion 
Hotel, 27. 

Porter, President Noah, story by, 
112, 113; characteristics, 147; 
grave of, 176; subscriber to 
"Centum Millia" fund, 229. 

Pratt, Gen. Daniel, Campus 
character, 95, 101. 

Presentation Day, Bagg's class 
poem for, 151. 

Princeton, possible origin of, 
165, 166; "rush" tactics, 220. 

"Puggling" in football, 219. 

Quadrangle, Campus, exclusive- 
ness of, 8, 9; open Quadrangle, 

Quinnipiac River, 26; boating 
on, 187. 

"Quinnipiacs," baseball nine, 20. 

"Reveries of a Bachelor," Ik 

Marvel, 171. 
"Roly-boly," for examination, 

127, 128. 
Root Scholarship, Theological 

School, 235. 

Rosewell, Richard, treasurer, 225. 
Rugby football, 218. 

Sachem's Wood (Hillhouse), 22. 

Sage, Mrs. Russell, gift of, 21. 

Salter, Richard, gift of, 232. 

Salutatory, 80-84. 

Sargent, shops, 25 ; family, 27. 

Schaff, D. S., football revived 
by, 218. 

School of Irrigation, plan for, 23. 

"Seasons of New England," Per- 
cival's, 142. 

Separatist movement, 164-166. 

Seymour, Prof., and examination 

Sheffield, Joseph Earl, 181. 

Sheffield Scientific School, exclu- 
sion of astronomy in, 130; 
Viets fund for, 234. 

Sherman, Roger, treasurer, 225. 

Sill, Edward Rowland, poet, 143 ; 
college life of, 147. 

Silliman, Benjamin, grave of, 
182; subscriber to "Centum 
Millia" fund, 229; biographer 
of Sheldon Clark, 223. 



Silliman Lectureship Fund, 235. 

Sims, John, undergraduate lead- 
er, 54-57. 

Skinner, Aaron N., mayor of 
New Haven, 182. 

Skinner & Sperry, stationers, 121. 

Skull and Bones society, 169. 

Smith, Sir Donald, Lord Strath- 
coma, 239. 

Smith, Hamilton Lanphere, as- 
tronomer, 158. 

Smith, Nathan, grave of, 176. 

Snyder, Peck &, sporting firm, 

Societies, beginnings and cere- 
monies of, 92, 93. 

Societies, Ecclesiastical, and 
cemetery lots for, 174. 

Society, Beethoven, 145. 

Society, Calliopean, 144. 

South College, 10, 12. 

South Middle, last of the Old 
Brick Row, 8; condition of, 10; 
restored, 14; students in, 137- 
143, 147. 

Sparks' "American Biography," 

Spoon, Wooden, its origin, com- 
mittees and exhibitions, 85-87, 
89; program of ceremony of, 
88; abolishment of, 89-91. 

Sports, Spirit of athletics in the 
seventies, hours for, 187-191. 
Baseball, cost of, class, 187, 


Boating on the harbor and 
the Quinnipiac River, 187, 
190; Glyuna and Varuna 
clubs, 28, 187-190. 

Football on the Green, 53, 
193, 208-213; songs, 213- 
216; rules and plays of, 
209, 219. 

Hamilton Park, 217-222. 

Golf and tennis, 23, 187. 

"Statement of Facts," debating 

societies' ceremonies, 75-78. 
Stiles, President Ezra, anecdotes 
from diary of, 62, 131, 139- 
142; grave of, 176. 
Strathcona, Lord, legacy, 239. 
Street, Augustus R., builder of 
the New Haven House, 29 ; 
father of the Art School, 30. 

Talebearer, The, periodical, 144. 

Tap Day, early customs of, 92- 

Taylor, N. W., theologian, grave 
of, 181. 

Tennis, see Sports. 

Thacher, Thomas Anthony, text- 
book edited by, 113, 114; grave 
of, 182. 

Thanksgiving Jubilee, see Jubi- 

Theological Department funds, 
Dwight fund, 234; Root 
Scholarship, 235. 

Times, New York, football ex- 
tract from, 210. 

Tomlinson's Bridge, near old 
boathouse, 25-27, 187. 

Town and Gown riots, student 
riots with seamen, 52; riots 
with firemen, 53-59. 

Townsend, Kneeland, builder of 
Pavilion Hotel, 26. 

Treasurers, early Yale, 225; 
accounts of, 130, 226-229. 



Trumbull collection, 237. 
Trumbull, John, treasurer, 225. 
Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, 
publishing firm, 126, 128. 

Union Club, baseball team, 

record of game with, 199-201. 

University Publishing House, 152. 

Valedictory, 80-84. 

"Varuna," see Sports (boating). 

Waite, Chief Justice, pupil of 
Loomis, 117. 

Warner, Wyllis, agent for "Cen- 
tum Millia" fund, 226. 

Washington's Birthday wars, 67, 

Webster, Daniel, visitor at Pa- 
vilion Hotel, 27. 

Webster, Noah, grave of, 181. 

Westminster of Yale ; land for 
Grove Street Cemetery, 173 ; 
division of lots, 174, 175, 
graves of Yale men, 176-183. 

White, Phinehas, grave of, 179. 

Whitney, Eli, College record of, 
140-142; grave of, 181, 182. 

Winchester, Oliver F., gift of 
land for Observatory, 23. 

Wing Yung, Chinese graduate, 

Winthrop, Theodore, grave of, 

Woolsey, President Theodore 
Dwight, Baccalaureate ad- 
dress of, 19; original designer 
of Alumni Hall, 33, 34; 
roomed in South Middle, 143; 
student life of, 144, 145; 
grave of, 182. 

Yale Alumni Advisory Board, 

128, 190. 

rale Alumni Weekly, 124. 
Yale Courant, parody on Chapel 

anthem, 20. 
Yale, Governor Elihu, early life, 

education, gifts of, 240, 241. 

For Henry B. Harriman, page 58, line 12, read Henry B. Harrison. 




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